Ivanhoe (Oxford World's Classics) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1998/8/20
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More than a century after the Norman Conquest, England remains a colony of foreign warlords. The dissolute Prince John plots to seize his brother's crown, his barons terrorize the country, and the mysterious outlaw Robin Hood haunts the ancient greenwood. The secret return of King Richard and the disinherited Saxon knight, Ivanhoe, heralds the start of a splendid and tumultuous romance, featuring the tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouche, the siege of Torquilstone, and the clash of wills between the wicked Templar Bois-Guilbert and the sublime Jewess Rebecca. In Ivanhoe Scott fashioned an imperial myth of national cultural identity that has shaped the popular imagination ever since its first appearance at the end of 1819. The most famous of Scottish novelists drew on the conventions of Gothic fiction, including its risky sexual and racial themes, to explore the violent origins and limits of English nationality. This edition uses the 1830 Magnum Opus text, corrected against the Interleaved Set, and incorporates readings from Scott's manuscript. The introduction examines the originality and cultural importance of Ivanhoe, and draws on current work by historians and cultural critics.
Ian Duncan is Associate Professor of English at Yale University.
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throne, hosts a tournament at Ashby, where an anonymous knight defeats all
of the Prince's allies including Boir-Guilbert. The champion, removing his
helmet to receive a garland from Lady Lowena, is identified as Wilfred of
Ivanhoe, but he falls into a dead faint due to a serious wound inflicted during
the jousts. Rebecca, the beautiful daughter of the old Jew Isaac of York,
shows great courage in rescuing Ivanhoe from danger, but she is abducted by
Boir-Guilbert and stands trial for sorcery.
Likened to the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley, Rebecca is a paragon
of beauty and virtue. For my part, I would have been more content to see
Ivanhoe seek the hand of the sublime Rebecca rather than the prim Rowena.
For all that, Ivanhoe is a historical novel as engrossing as any--full of action,
romance, chivalry and self-denial.
This is the third time I've read the book, and I've probably seen the film a dozen times, and never seem to tire of it. This time, however, has had a special reward: Instead of having to guess or refer to a dictionary to understand archaic words no longer used or whose meaning has changed over the centuries, reading it on a Kindle, with a readily available, built-in dictionary has made this a special treat. I recommend it without reservation.
Overall though, I give this book four stars because it is a good story. To read about the plight of specific downtrodden people in merry old England is a bit of an eye-opener. And to see that certain characters can set aside these prejudices and do "what's right" makes this a good story.
This isn't the Hollywood movie version, even though the movie does follow the story, that concentrates more on swordplay and knights in armor to stirring martial music. This is more subtle and deals more with people, personalities, and inner strength.