Randyn's Reviews > Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
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's review
Oct 27, 2007

it was amazing
Read in October, 2007

normally I don't like it when protagonists in books are anachronistically liberal and unprejudiced, but I would have made an exception for this story. In fact, I remember as a kid creating elaborate scenarios in my head where Ivanhoe runs off with the Jewish Rebecca instead of staying with the English Rowena. In fact, reading it this time around, I almost found myself liking the villain Brian du Bois-Guillbert. He might have been evil, but at least he was able to step outside of the prejudices of his time and would have been willing to give up everything and marry Rebecca. Also, he was an atheist, which was pretty cool. I mean, what did Ivanhoe actually have going for him? He was an unimaginatively nice and chivalrous guy who was loyal to the brave but stupid Richard the Lion-Hearted. That's about it. He certainly wasn't any kind of visionary, and anyway, he was injured for most of the book.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Dumbledore11214 AHA. Good to know that somebody else liked Brian even if only "almost". I do like Ivanhoe, but I found myself sympathizing with the knight of the temple for the same reason you seem to be. He was ready to give up everything and marry Rebecca. I liked that :)

Deanne Hate to break it to you but Brian had no intention of marrying Rebecca. He had a chance to set her free and nearly had her burnt at the stake through his lust. He saw her and took her.
If he wanted to marry her he wouldn't have taken her to a stronghold of the knights templar, not the place to be if you were a female and jewish.

Dumbledore11214 Yeah, he did and I never said that this was right or anything like that. But he did offer her much more than lust when he was ready to take her and leave the country with her if she wanted to. **Of course** he is the one who is the reason of her misery in the first place, but I like the fact that the knight of the Temple fell in love (IMO) with jewish girl. I am not saying his behavior is perfect, but I take as much as I can get in characters' like his. I like conflicted characters very much even if the villanous part of his prevails eventually.

kingshearte Just echoing the fact that, although to many people today, there isn't that much difference between "living in sin," so to speak, and being married, in the time of this book, there absolutely was. So, even if he actually had strong, true feelings for her, what he was asking was for her to become his mistress, which would equate, in the eyes of pretty much everyone else (including Rebecca herself), to his whore. With not even any legal ties, there wouldn't even be anything to stop him from ditching her completely if he got bored with her, leaving her disgraced, friendless, and pretty much 100% screwed.

That said, there was a part of me that did kind of hope he would come around and actually ask her to go away with him and marry him for real. He did have some redeeming qualities.

Michael Jones well, his loyalty was exemplary. And don't you think character was shown when he helped the Jews at the beginning?

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