Benjamin Disraeli’s Tancred or the New Crusade: An Imperial Pilgrimage to the Muslim Orient


  • Nabil Mohammed Moqbil Albakili


Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred, Pilgrimage, Orient, Muslim Orient


This paper is an attempt to study Benjamin Disraeli’s Tancred as a book of imperial pilgrimage to the Holy Lands in the light of two main issues: the way Disraeli’s observations in his grand tour to the Holy Lands influenced the background of Tancred and the Christian-Jewish compromise, and thus alliance against anti-Judaism and, later, towards the subversion of the Ottoman Caliphate just to secure the New Crusade that Tancred calls for. In this paper, I discuss, and sometimes refute, some of the recent studies and critical readings of Tancred that have viewed or presented the novel as a book that calls solely for the emancipation of the European Jews, namely the English. To confirm my reason why the present paper has to study Tancred in separation from the other novels of the trilogy, it is important to emphasise that Tancred is Disraeli’s only novel that tells the story of pilgrimage to the Muslim Orient; a journey that the author himself actually performed. Therefore, I chose not to refer to the other novels that Disraeli wrote in the trilogy for they will not serve the objectives of this paper.