Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe" adapted for 21st century

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe" adapted for 21st century

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Thu November 1st, 2012, 5:53 pm

What do people think about this? My bolds...
I also show the cover pic below.
Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe" adapted for 21st century
12:40pm GMT
By Ian MacKenzie

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - In a bid to resurrect Walter Scott's historical novel "Ivanhoe", retired Scottish medical professor David Purdie unsheathed his scalpel to cut out the early 19th century verbiage and deliver a new edition for 21st century readers.
Ivanhoe is a romantic tale of fair maidens, bold knights-at-arms, merry friars, skulduggery, enmity between Saxons and Norman barons, and even a cameo appearance by Robin Hood during the reign of England's Richard I in 1194.

The first historical novel by Scott (1771-1832) set outside Scotland was hugely popular when it was published at the start of 1820. Its first printing of 10,000 copies sold out in less than two weeks and it set the scene for the rise of the historical novel in Europe.

Scott was widely read through Europe and North America.

Purdie, chairman of the Sir Walter Scott Club in Edinburgh, said the idea for his abridged Ivanhoe "came from repeated observations in the press that Scott was ‘difficult', above all, verbose...and out of touch with the attention span of a modern audience."

The punctuation style of 1820 just jarred, he said.

"I have shortened paragraphs and sentences, removed excessive commas, trimmed descriptions, especially of scenery, and adjusted syntax," Purdie told Reuters.

The new edition is published by Luath Press Limited in Edinburgh for sale at 9.99 pounds ($16.09).

Purdie, who is also editor-in-chief of the (Robert) Burns Encyclopaedia, said he had trimmed Ivanhoe to 95,000 words - about the length of a modern solid novel - from 195,000 words.

"As a former surgeon, I used the good old surgical discipline of only cutting where necessary, and then only removing extraneous matter, conserving the vital organs of the story while minimising blood loss and keeping the patient alive," he said.

Graham Tulloch, professor of English at Australia's Flinders University in Adelaide and editor of the definitive 1998 Edinburgh Edition of Ivanhoe, told Reuters he would naturally like readers to peruse the original, but commended Purdie's efforts.

"David Purdie has gone to some trouble to make the book in size, cover, and page layout look like a modern historical novel. If this can attract more readers, then I am all in favour. If it means those readers go on to read the novel in its full version, then that is even better."

User avatar
Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK

Post by EC2 » Thu November 1st, 2012, 8:54 pm

Ivanhoe is stashed with historical errors anyway and better to be a thing of its time than a revival IMO. There are far better novels of the medieval period around today than Ivanhoe (classic though it is) to attract readers to HF should they need attracting.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal


Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”