I finished reading Ivanhoe the other day. It was good, surprisingly so. I ended up liking the main villain more than any other character.
That struck me as strange, when I realized that Brian de Bois-Guilbert was in deep shit and I felt bad for the poor guy. Most of the characters in Ivanhoe move about anonymously in the book while not being very anonymous at all to the reader. It is pretty obvious that the hooded Palmer in the opening chapters is Wilfred of Ivanhoe himself [though he is not named as such for a hundred-plus pages and in very different circumstances]. Richard Lionheart, Friar Tuck and Robin Hood are all present as well, though they go by pseudonyms as well.
Brian de Bois-Guilbert on the other hand is himself and always himself. I think I liked him best because I feel that he would fit right in 2004. This is because he is such an individual. The rest of the folks all seem shallow and stereotypical in comparison.
The book seems incredibly anti-Semitic, which took me aback for a long while. It is most definitely English and I think Sir Walter Scott purposefully wrote it concerning the antagonism-becoming-friendship of the Normans and Saxons as a sort of flattery toward the Crown. That is just supposition though. I’m too lazy to research it. Despite being written with thys and thines and various other quite rusty turns of phrase, I truly enjoyed the manner in which it was written. It is quite the humorous novel. I’m going to cook dinner now.