Ivanhoe Read-along: Week 3 Recap

December 14, 2014

Source: Wikimedia
We've made it to the halfway point in the Ivanhoe read-along, hosted by Rachelle of The Reading Wench! See her post (or my previous posts) for a description of the event and the reading schedule. Be sure to check out her Week 3 recap, too!

  • Mon. 24th Nov. – Sun. 30th Nov.: Chapters 1 – 7
  • Mon. 1st Dec. – Sun. 7th Dec.: Chapters 8 – 16
  • Mon. 8th Dec. – Sun. 14th Dec.: Chapters 17 – 25
  • Mon. 15th Dec. – Sun. 21st Dec.: Chapters 26 – 31
  • Mon. 22nd Dec. – Sun. 28th Dec.: Chapters 32 – 38
  • Mon. 29th Dec. – Sun. 4th Jan.: Chapters 39 – 44
It went down this week. Find a quick summary under the red, if you're so inclined. De Bracy and Bois-Guilbert (the Knight Templar) carry out their plan to waylay Cedric, Lady Rowena, Isaac, Rebecca and their attendants as they make the trip back home from the tournament. We also learn that the wounded Wilfred of Ivanhoe is traveling with them in secret. The group is detained at Front-de-Boeuf (whose name never fails to make me giggle)'s castle for various reasons: Isaac for his money, Rowena for De Bracy's bride, and Rebecca for Bois-Guilbert's, in addition to the general Norman hostility toward Cedric the Saxon. The captors' plans are interrupted by a message from Wamba the Jester (who, along with Gurth, managed to escape before the attack). He reports that he, Gurth and Locksley have assembled 200 who will fight for the release of Cedric and his retinue, if their peaceful release is denied. Front-de-Boeuf and his co-conspirators respond that they plan to execute the group and request a priest to deliver the last rites. Our week's reading ends with Wamba donning the friar's outfit to go and meet them.

I have to say, I left most of my reading for today because things were moving so slowly that other books kept capturing my interest (see my three other reviews this week), but the story is finally getting exciting again! Without referencing any spoilers, I can't wait to see what comes of the last section of Chapter 25.

The feminist in me couldn't help but cheer on Rowena and Rebecca as they faced their respective suitors/kidnappers. We learned this week that Rowena is "disposed both to resist and to resent any attempt to control her affections, or dispose her of her hand contrary to her inclinations ...," and she shows this during her meeting with Bois-Guilbert. Though she might read to some as spoiled and privileged (and almost certainly is), I can't help but enjoy her pluck. Similarly, Rebecca preferring to "trust her soul with God, than her honour to the Templar" and threatening to jump from the window of her cell was just plain awesome. I can't say I'd have had the courage to do the same, and I appreciate her character all the more for it. I can't wait to see what the rest of our tale has in store for these two women.

Also, does anyone else have the edition with the 11-page footnote about torture? I didn't quite follow all of it, but suffice it to say that that particular brand of violence is going to stick with me for a while.

If anyone else is reading along with us, let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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