1905. Sir Walter Scott was a master of diverse talents. He was a man of letters, a dedicated historian and historiographer, a well-read translator of foreign texts, and a talented poet. Deriving most of his material from his native Scotland, its history and its legends, Scott invented and mastered what we know today as the historical novel. Count Robert is set during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus and focuses on the arrival of the first Crusaders. During the oath-taking ceremony on the eve of the Crusade, the haughty Count Robert insults the Emperor by seating himself on the imperial throne. Also offended is Robert's friend Hereward, a Saxon member of the Varangian guard, exiled from England after the Norman Conquest. When the Crusaders leave Byzance for Asia, Robert is drugged and detained as captive. His Amazonian wife, Brenhilda is held separately and persecuted by the enamored Nicephorus Briennus, the emperor's son-in-law. Brenhilda challenges Nicephorus to combat, promising to give herself to him if defeated. In the meantime, Robert is freed by Hereward, and presents himself at the duel in his wife's stead.
Nicephorus, though, does not appear as he has been arrested following the discovery of a plot to usurp Alexius. Still keen to avenge Robert's affront to the Emperor, Hereward takes his place. Robert defeats him but spares his life in gratitude for his earlier help. Hereward follows Robert to Palestine as a vassal, after discovering that his lost Saxon love Bertha is Brenhilda's waiting-woman. Through Robert's influence, a portion of Hereward's English property is restored to him. See the many other works by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.