For anyone reading Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe

When you’ve finished, you must go read W. M. Thackeray’s parody, Rebecca and Rowena. It was first written as a “Christmas Book” under the pen name of Mr. Michael Angelo Titmarsh (Thackeray loved using pen names) in 1850 (it might have actually been published a bit earlier in the late 1840s as the Christmas book and then published later on its own in 1850–the information I’ve been able to glean has been rather conflicting on this score). In the introduction to the Hesperus Press edition that I have, Matthew Sweet describes it as the Victorian period’s version of Monty Python. He isn’t kidding. It’s a quick read (only about 100 pages) and it’s hilarious. I caught myself laughing out loud throughout most of it (which seemed to rather disturb the other people in the library so I recommend reading it somewhere more conducive to vocal outbursts).

For an etext version, try this. And if you want a pretty version to call your own, you can get it here or here. Enjoy!


5 responses to this post.

  1. Oh, this sounds fun … although it would necessitate reading Ivanhoe first, and I’m struggling a bit with Waverley. I’m curious if Scott’s later novels get any better …


  2. Dorothy: as long as you have a basic idea of Ivanhoe’s plotline, you could enjoy R & R. (I have a confession to make: I haven’t yet read Ivanhoe, which I really, really need to do–so many books and so little time! sigh.). And Ivanhoe was written after the Waverley novels, so I’m hoping that he’s had a bit of practice and it won’t be as difficult to get through–one of my fellow classmates has literally thrown Waverley across the room a couple of times when it got too dull for her. I won’t be reading it until November, but we’ll see how I feel then!


  3. Well, it’s a relief to know I’m not the only one who has found Waverley boring!


  4. Hi Sarah! I’ve tagged you for a meme. Of course, if you’re too busy I understand. But here it is if you’re interested. 🙂


  5. Eva: I’ll be doing the meme soon, I promise! 🙂


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