Looking Forward to June



Friday, January 10, 2014

Go, Ivanhoe! And Thanks to Sir Walter Scott!

I must say that I'm finding Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott to be a delight. I'm one-quarter of the way through (I think), and the only time I wasn't riveted was for only four or five pages when the rules of the medieval jousting/tournament were being explained, which went on far too long for my patience. I am tackling this novel for the Read Scotland 2014, which Peggy Ann is hosting.

But just think of it! I would have shunned this book for being archaic, too difficult, and out of favor, yet I am amazed to discover that I'm finding it so fascinating. I am in awe of Scott's vocabulary, for one thing, and I find the antiquated words worthy of intense study. And as for his lengthy subordinated sentences, I find them magnificent. I love the language of this book and Scott's writing! If I had more time, I would look up every word in the Oxford English Dictionary to understand the history of its use.

Scott's characterizations are what propel this novel. He spares no effort in drawing the reader into the world of all his characters, from the lofty, arrogant Prince John to the lowliest peasant. Scott particularly drawing us into his characters' motivations, which is the aspect that makes the book, to my mind.

I'm so pleased that Katrina of Pining for the West, my co-reader and co-conspirator, is finding Ivanhoe to be equally enjoyable, and wonderful beyond her expectations as well. Please do visit her thoughts on her reading through Chapter 14. She discusses the all-important historical background, as well she should as she is a true Scot!

6 comments:

  1. I too have never read anything by Sir walter Scott but I'm doing the 'Read Scotland' challenge this year so am going to try The Antiquary because I thought it sounded interetsing. If I like it then perhaps I'll try Ivanhoe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you enjoy English history from the later medieval period, you'll enjoy Ivanhoe. I highly recommend it!

      Judith

      Delete
  2. Judith, you and Katrina give a good argument for reading Ivanhoe! Someday I might. I'm enjoying seeing what you two think though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peggy Ann,
      Everyday that I read it I'm so surprised that I'm enjoying it so much! A great classic and a must read!
      Judith

      Delete
  3. Judith, I so agree with everything that you've written and I did find myself going a wee bit cross-eyed at the jousting bits. I have a feeling that we owe most of our 'knowledge' of jousts mainly to Scott's imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katrina,
      I'm galumphing along this week! I'll bet you're right about Scott's version of jousting is what is riveted in the public imagination. Still enjoying Ivanhoe immensely.
      Judith

      Delete