Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Knights of Old

I can cross off another classic on my 'To Read' list. There is a lot of familiar territory in this story by Sir Walter Scott, but the language is not familiar. It is written in old English and on my Kindle e-reader I have a great feature that lets me look up the definition of a word by simply hovering over it with the cursor. At least half the time I was drawing a blank on the obscure words that are no longer in use today. It was a struggle at times, but overall, the story is very good.
We find such familiar characters as Robert of Loxley (Robin Hood) Friar Tuck, bad king John, Good king Richard and a host of others that have been portrayed over the years in other literature and more recently in the movies. There is plenty of jousting, thievery, archery, castle sieges, battles, racial prejudice, humour, honour, heroes and villains. These old classic authors used words and ideas in a very clever way and I am always impressed with the mastery of style used to tell the story. There may at times seem to be too many words, but what that does is give the characters and plot a lot of depth. One of the themes, for example, is the prejudice against Jews in that day. They were needed as money lenders, but otherwise were hated and despised without restraint. To counterbalance that evil, the most redemptive character in the story is a Jewess.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this classic and would give it 4 1/2 stars.  

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