based on the novel Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Despite its length, Ivanhoe is actually a fairly compact story–feast, tournament, feast, capture, containment, battle, more containment, trial. Sure, there’s a lot more background, but a particularly ruthless screenwriter could adapt it quite well. I knew of the 1952 film, featuring Elizabeth Taylor as Rebecca, but as I was shelving at the library, I discovered a 1997 BBC and A&E adaptation of Ivanhoe. It involved Christopher Lee. How could I resist?
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
I first encountered Ivanhoe in, of all things, Zits, the comic strip. The teenager of the family, Jeremy, was forced to read it for class, and his father decided to read it along with him–with hilarious results, as both father and son couldn’t stand it. Ivanhoe, then, has always been an impenetrable classic to me ever since I was a wee lass. However, as my reading has expanded and I’ve gotten older, bits and pieces about Sir Walter Scott and his writing have filtered through to me and put several dents in my old conception. Needing a lengthy read for a bit of travel, I decided to dive in headfirst and take a library copy of Ivanhoe with me.
Yes, its reputation for downright debilitating prose is well-earned, but there’s an amazing story once you acclimate.
I’ve watched the rise of paranormal romance (nice going, Twilight) and urban fantasy with an concerned eye since I was a wee lass. Not because they’re not my cup of tea, but because they’re part of an increasing set of sub-genres in speculative fiction (our nice, academic word for fantasy and sci-fi) that have started to punch holes in the traditional distinctions between fantasy, science fiction, and other genres. While I don’t advocate forcing everyone to put their novels into only one distinct genre, I think a lot of the organizational mess that I see in speculative fiction nowadays can be solved with the addition of one major genre to speculative fiction–supernatural fiction.
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
“Truly,” said Wamba, without stirring from the spot, “I have consulted my legs upon this matter, and they altogether of opinion that to carry my gay garments through these sloughs would be an act of unfriendship to my sovereign person and royal wardrobe; wherefore, Gurth, I advise thee to call of Fangs, and leave the herd to their destiny, which, whether they meet with bands of travelling soldiers, or of outlaws, or of wandering pilgrims, can be little else than to be coverted into Normans before morning, to thy no small ease and comfort.”
“The swine turned Normans to my comfort!” quoth Gurth; “expound that to me, Wamba, for my brain is too dull and my mind too vexed to read riddles.”
pg. 35 of Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!
As I tend to mention a great deal, I was reared on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. If asked to choose one genre to read for the rest of my life, I’d happily answer fantasy. My reading resolutions were drawn up mostly to keep me from just gorging myself on fantasy and the occasional piece of science fiction and historical fiction. But I’m so happy swimming in the deep end that I rarely notice people at the edge tentatively dipping their toes in the pool. (It is, of course, a mana pool.) I know for people who haven’t read much fantasy that the genre can look intimidating, so today I’m going to recommend fantasy novels based on what other genres you enjoy. So take a deep breath and relax. This won’t hurt a bit.