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05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
It has been said that Ivanhoe is no more than a boy's adventure story. This is a superficial view. It is most surely a historical novel of a specific character. The story aside, Scott uses words to paint a picture of life in the time and place of the novel's setting. Most of the characters are rather lacking in depth (Rebecca and DuBois Guilbert being the most notable and perhaps only exceptions), yet therefore all-the-more essential to the "word-portrait" form of history employed by Scott. The story does entertain, and as a boy I did enjoy the adventure, yet what drives this novel more than plot and far more than character is simply atmosphere, the setting, the visual descriptions of the characters . . . in short, the literary painting of medieval England.