Classics Illustrated: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Five out of five stars
“Ivanhoe” is arguably the most well-known of the novels by Sir Walter Scott and it is a work of historical fiction set in England in the twelfth century. It is a time when knights were bold and tournaments where they competed in jousts were major events. It is a time when there was a significant distinction between the Normans and the Saxons and there is still hostility, although not open warfare.
The story also includes references to anti-Semitism, in a panel on page 5 of this comic, Isaac of York a Jewish merchant has been granted admittance. The panel shows him walking within the village and the text is, “Isaac entered. Even the servants withdrew from him in pious horror.”
Given the length and complexity of the novel, the story in this comic is of necessity abridged. Yet, it does capture the essence of this complex novel of a time of knighthood, assimilation and accommodation. It also features one of the most well-known English kings, Richard the Lion-hearted. This is an excellent introduction to a complex story about a complex country. The panels that include the bandit known as Robin Hood increase the subplots and intrigue.