[[caption-width-right:229:''Enter the Saint'', the first novel in the series... [[CreatorBacklash that Leslie Charteris]] [[CanonDiscontinuity was willing to acknowledge.]][[note]]The first ''Saint'' novel was actually ''Meet the Tiger'', but Charteris tended to [[CreatorBacklash discount it as a false start]], though he still allowed it to be reprinted with the rest.[[/note]]]]
The character of Simon Templar was created by Leslie Charteris in 1928 for a series of books which ran until 1983, published as '''''The Saint'''''. The novels' success led to [[Franchise/TheSaint many adaptations in other media]].
Master thief Simon Templar, also known by his nickname "the Saint" due to his initials S.T., as well as the fact that his heroic exploits fly in the face of a nefarious reputation. While he uses many aliases, usually also incorporating the intitials S.T., his true name is unknown. Instead, he took his inspiration for the name Simon Templar from reading about the exploits of the Knights Templar.
Templarís usual targets are those he considers ďungodlyĒ, such as corrupt politicians, warmongers, and other unsavory types, leading to comparisons, both favorable and otherwise, to RobinHood. However, Templar is willing to ruin the lives of the ungodly or even kill them, justifying these admitted murders as necessary to defend the lives of the innocent.
Charteris told Templar's story in different formats: novels, novella collections and short stories. Initially, Templar was usually depicted as working with a team that included girlfriend Patricia Holm. Later, this was slimmed down to just Hoppy, his right hand man. Finally, Templar was featured working solo in most stories published from the late 1940s onward. Beginning in the 1960s, Charteris occasionally updated stories for reprints, replacing outdated references to movie stars, etc. with more modern references. By the 1970s, he stopped doing that.
Charteris wrote all the stories and novels published between 1928 and 1963. From 1964 onwards other writers took over and continued writing stories (many of which adapted episodes of ''Series/TheSaint'' and ''Series/ReturnOfTheSaint'' from TV). These writers were usually credited inside the books, but Charteris received sole credit on the covers. The final ''Saint'' novel in the original run was published in 1983.
!!''The Saint'' provides examples of the following tropes:
* AchievementsInIgnorance: In "The Newdick Helicopter", a ConMan sells a mark plans for a 'helicopter' (actually a gyrocopter). When the mark assembles the helicopter, he discovers it cannot take off vertically as he expected it to. Assuming he had put it together wrong, he starts tinkering with it and ends up inventing a fully functioning helicopter. (Note that this story was published in 1933, several years before the first [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Fw_61 fully functioning helicopter]] was built.)
* AllergicToRoutine: The Saint. Pat also, but not quite as badly.
* ArchEnemy: Rayt Marius for a couple books.
* BananaRepublic: ''The Wonderful War'' is the story of how The Saint (almost) singlehandedly liberates one of these.
* BatmanGambit: The Saint loves these with a holy love.
* BerserkButton: Do not hurt or threaten Pat; he will go into UnstoppableRage even if he is badly wounded. Do not hurt a woman in his presence. Period. He will undertake your systematic destruction and there will be absolutely nothing you can do about it, and you can expect no mercy.
* BirdsOfAFeather: Pat and Simon Templar; Templar often comments that she's the only woman he's ever met who shares his lust for life and adventure.
* CasualDangerDialog: If there is any story in the Saint series that does not feature Templar doing this, it's not a Saint book.
* ComicBookTime: As Charteris himself notes in ''The First Saint Omnibus,'' Templar was aging at a practically normal rate in the first decade or so... but his aging process slowed to a crawl as The Saint dealt with ThoseWackyNazis, and from the time Charteris retired from primary authorship in 1963 through the end of the series 20 years later, his aging was confined to a much more world-weary attitude.
* CondescendingCompassion: Templar loves pretending this attitude around and in regards to the police.
* ConMan: Lots of The Saints exploits revolve around elaborate cons he devises to separate the ungodly from their ill-gotten gains.
* CoolCar: Leslie Charteris didn't believe that any car in the real world was cool enough for Simon to drive, so he made up one called a Hirondel. In one later story (''Vendetta fir the Saint''), an Italian mechanic who has devoted himself to preserving a Bugatti Royale is impressed that Simon drove a Hirondel. It's that cool.
* TheCharmer: The Saint. Women attract to him like flies. He would never take advantage of a woman and is always courteous and (barring the occasional female villain) polite towards them.
* DamselOutOfDistress: A number of early novels and stories feature Templar's girlfriend, Patricia Holm, who becomes an active accomplice in a number of his exploits. She's also noted to be a very good shot and is the person he trusts to [[BadassDriver drive the getaway car when the chase is particularly hot.]] Villains have been known to be more afraid of the icy steel in her voice and eyes than they are of Templar at first meeting (of course, it probably helps that she's usually the one pointing a gun in those instances).
* DecoyDamsel: Pat occasionally does a heroic version of this, allowing herself to get captured to further some plan of Simon's.
* [[spoiler: DidNotGetTheGirl: Pat eventually breaks up with Templar.]]
* DissonantSerenity / TranquilFury: The more angry The Saint is, the calmer and more relaxed he seems and the more likely he will call villains by ironic endearments as he describes in calm and loving detail how he is going to destroy them. It's only worse if he drops the endearments.... ''The Unlicensed Victuallers'' learn this most horribly.
* DoesntLikeGuns: In the early stories, Simon considers firearms noisy and barbarous, isn't particularly expert with them, and further admits as much on more than one occasion; around World War II, his attitude relaxes and his expertise rises, in both cases considerably.
* EthicalSlut: Pat and Templar have an open relationship, but Templar usually avoids doing much more than flirting with other women because (while they might be more beautiful, and witty or charming) they can't match up to Pat for intelligence and thirst for adventure.
* FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon: Certainly all The Saint's marks would say this, especially when he pulls off his wide-eyed innocent look and his beatific smile that usually marks his being particularly mischievous.
* FlawExploitation: Often used by The Saint; is often attempted against him, but it is the rare time that he doesn't have a contingency for someone trying to do this.
* FloweryInsults: Occasionally, when Templar is in a poetic mood and you are starting to annoy him or piss him off or he wants to annoy and piss you off.
* GentlemanAdventurer: Even invokes this trope by name when describing himself.
* GentlemanSnarker: Templar and his original companions: Roger Conway, Dicky Tremayne, and Norman Kent. Peter Quentin and Monty Hayward were just as snarky, though not quite as upper-crust.
* GentlemanThief: The Saint, obviously.
* GoToAlias: Sebastian Tombs
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Simon regularly arranges this; he directly references (though not exact-quotes) the Shakespeare line in ''The Art Photographer'' and again in ''The Careful Terrorist'' .
* ICallItVera: The Saint's twin throwing knives, Anna and Belle.
* IcyBlueEyes: Pat's are noted to be this, generally contrasting Simon's innocent baby blues. Also notable character-wise because it symbolizes her tendency to come across as more even keel and less manic than Templar.. She can, however, do the InnocentBlueEyes too, just to freak Teal out.
** Simon has these when he's angry.
* IronicNickname: Lots, but Templar's nickname of "Angel Face" for the very ugly Rayt Marius is the foremost example of this trope.
* IShallTauntYou: Templar doesn't have an off button when he's around the police or villains. All of his insults are very snarky and both for his own (and his comrades) amusement and to keep villains and policemen off their balance. In one adventure (''The Policeman With Wings''), he defeats a villain using ''only'' his mocking wit.
* InnocentBlueEyes: The Saint has these and is very, very aware of it. He loves giving beatifically innocent looks at his most infuriating.
* JustLikeRobinHood: The Saint steals from criminals and gives all but 10% of it to charities (unless it can be determined where the stolen valuables or money was stolen or extorted from in the first place, in which case The Saint gives it all back to its rightful owners).
** Several tales refer to the newspaper stories that explicitly dub him "the Robin Hood of Modern Crime."
* KansasCityShuffle: Another thing The Saint loves with a holy love.
* KnifeNut: Templar prefers knives to guns, and is a masterful fighter with them.
* KnightInShiningArmour: In "The Last Hero", one of the earlier Saint novels (1931), Simon Templar takes backstage to his gallant and tragic associate Norman Kent, who falls in love hopelessly with Templar's girlfriend Patricia Holm (who hardly notices him) and at the end of the book sacrifices his life to let Templar and his other comrades-in-arms escape the current villain and fight again another day. A book called "Knights Errant of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries" by Caroline Whitehead and George Mc Leod says it all: "Norman Kent is an archetypal knight-errant. Though formally a man of 20th Century England, he lives (and dies) by the Code of Chivalry. He loves totally his Lady, Patricia Holm - who, like Don Quixote's Dulcinea, is not aware of that love. He is totally loyal to his Liege Lord, Simon Templar. Like Sir Gawain in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", Norman Kent takes on the threats to his Lord. Not only physicial threats to life and limb, but also the sometimes inavoidable need to take dishourable acts which would have reflected badly on the reputation of King Arthur/Simon Templar is taken on, wholly and without reservation, by Sir Gawain/Norman Kent."
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Sometimes Templar talks about a situation or his life being rather like an adventure novel, and that if it stays true to form something will or won't happen. Eventually in the later books it leads to outright
** BreakingTheFourthWall; Templar noting that it's too early in the novel for there to even be the chance that he'd get killed off right then, or something of the like.
* LongRunningBookSeries: 50 books published between 1928 and 1983, all overseen by Leslie Charteris.
* MasterActor: The Saint.
* MotorMouth: The Saint will only stop talking when his GentlemanThief activities absolutely demand it. When he's excited or has a EurekaMoment his mouth tries a desperate job of trying to keep up with his brain, resulting in fragments of the subject in particular, bits of plans on what he's going to do, and jokes all jumbled together coming out of his mouth at a mile a minute (think [[DoctorWho The Doctor]] at his most insensibly manic). Even the most brilliant of his associates, notably Pat, find it a strain to keep up with him at theses moments.
* MrFanservice: Templar, even when he's wearing all his clothes.
* MsFanservice: Pat or whatever woman happens to be in the story is usually described in 'loving' detail.
* MysteriousPast: We never find out much about The Saint's past apart from that "Templar" is a pseudonymous surname he chose as a young man or boy.
* TheNicknamer: Templar hands out these like he's handing out candy to children.
* ThePardon: The one time the cops had him under arrest and dead to rights, he had just saved a train with members of the royal family on it from being blown up.
* TheSpymaster: Another legacy of World War II: during the war, Simon worked for an American intelligence officer known only as "Hamilton".
* RealMenCook: He usually prefers to eat out, but is quite capable of making a delicious meal quite on his own.
* RebelliousSpirit: The Saint. Teal lampshades this now and again by sarcastically suggesting to superiors that they should make it a law that you can't live a life without committing a crime at intervals just so The Saint would be contrary and they'd get a little peace from him.
* SlummingIt: in ''The Wonderful War,'' Simon pretends to be a BananaRepublic peon -- and even lets himself be arrested! -- to bring about his master plan.
* SharpDressedMan: Prefers to dress like this whenever possible, however it is noted (several times over) that he simply looks phenomenal in whatever he happens to be wearing by virtue of good looks and sheer personality.
* SwordCane: In the early stories, particularly in "The Man Who Was Clever," Simon is shown to be a master with one; since in those days a cane was still appropriate for upper-class gentlemen, he was also "seldom without it."
* SympatheticInspectorAntagonist: Inspector Claude Eustace Teal.
* TermsOfEndangerment: Templar tends to use pet names or terms of endearment when talking to villains; the sweeter, the more inappropriate, and the more frequent the endearments get, the closer the villains are to death.
* ThemedAliases: Simon's aliases often use the initials "S.T."
* ThisBearWasFramed: In "The Convenient Monster", a murderer kills his victim with a Polynesian club studded with shark teeth and attempts to place the blame on ''the Loch Ness Monster''!
* ThisIsMyNameOnForeign: In ''Salvage For The Saint'', Charles Tatenor's real name is revealed to be Schwarzkopf. As literally translating his surname into English would have sounded ridiculous ('blackhead'), he went for something that sounded like blackhead in French (''tÍte noire'').
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Teal is extremely fond of gum, especially Wrigley's.
* TheTrickster: The Saint. Oh hallowed heavens, The Saint!
* VigilanteMan: Templar.
** VigilanteExecution: Templar, especially in the earlier books, would often force a baddie he considered too dangerous (and too likely to get off) to fight him in a duel to the death (he generally preferred not to kill in cold blood because it didn't seem quite sporting).
* WarriorPoet: Templar writes poetry (in comic and satirical vein to entertain and amuse his compatriots and to annoy his enemies, then sometimes more serious stuff about justice and chivalry). Is also prone to, amidst jokes, philosophize on battle, honor, chivalry, love, how modern man has lost his thirst for adventure, and any numbers of those combined.
* WorthyOpponent: The Prince and The Saint view each other as one.