Some Music for Ivanhoe

Music for Ivanhoe:

Sometime during the future, we will need to read Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe for the GHBC. It was a book of tremendous importance to American history, because of its extraordinary popularity in the South. It may have done more than any other work of fiction to shape Southern ideas of what it was to be a gentleman. Mark Twain thought it was responsible for the Civil War.

Here is some music that reminds me of some of the scenes in the novel where the Templar travels with Saracen slaves. Much of the book turns on the interaction between Jewish, Muslim and Christian cultures. Here Rebecca, a Jewish maiden, is stolen away by the Templar with the aid of his Saracen slaves, and in defiance of King Richard the Lionheart and, well, Robin Hood.

Scott was no expert on Muslim culture -- although his treatment of Saladin in The Talisman is interesting -- but he was highly sympathetic to the Jews. Remind me, after we do the Vikings in the next few weeks, and perhaps we'll take a look at it. It would be an ideal book for the fall, when the weather cools and it becomes easy to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors again.

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