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Quentin Durward; Ivanhoe; Kenilworth

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Quentin Durward; Ivanhoe; Kenilworth

by Scott, Sir Walter

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  • Hardcover
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About This Item

New York: Modern Library, no date. Hardback. VG/G. Some soil, edgewear. DJ is stained, chipped with one large 2 inch chip missing from rear. Writing on inside of DJ (books checked off). A Modern Library Giant book.


Quentin Durward is a historical novel by Walter Scott, first published in 1823. The story concerns a Scottish archer in the service of the French King Louis XI.


On Aug 15 2021, a reader said:
I would like my grandson to read this. The protagonist is a prime example of the stoic virtues, high mindedness, confidence, cheerfulness, endurance and industriousness. This is a woefully neglected topic these days. The author seems to have learned from Shakespeare, in terms of language and the utilization of the universal themes: life, love, work, warfare, kings, revenge, and so on. Scott portrays a cross section of humanity, with a sympathetic understanding of both commoner and king. The author seems to revel in dialog, both in the folk idioms of the court executioner, in the clever wranglings of the barber (and chief advisor) to the king, and the ascerbic, intricate political machinations of Louis XI. Well researched, a vivid portrayal of the times. Surprisingly entertaining. One isolated chapter of stereotypical female character pearl-clutching and the spouting of idealized pietism. Interesting to read a book that does not rely on metaphor, that is almost exclusively complete sentences. Surprising that the bad old technique of telling, as opposed to showing, can be so effective in reenacting a battlescene. Nowadays such a scene would be written in a clipped manner. The author furnishes the reader with a LOT of information, details, details. A thing of inestimable value IMHO, the reliability of the author as a reporter of truth. The characters' reactions are realistic. There are seldom improbabilities. Scott does not gloss over the ugly realities of warfare. Lances penetrate eyeballs and go into the brain. The bishop's throat is cut in the middle of a victory feast. The only exception, to the degree of plausible realism, is the fact that his protagonist always seems to have a perfectly composed speech on the spur of the moment. He speaks the way we might speak, if we had a few hours to think about it. This is not to say that it is necessarily bad, because it does convey the concept of heroism. In regards to Durward's prowess in battle, that is dealt with realistically. He has narrow escapes, his helmet is bashed in. When there is an opportunity for him to defeat one of the chief villains, he is off somewhere, escorting some ladies off the battlefield. If I might bring up Dickens. Dickens in comparison, is more imaginative, in coming up with creative uses of language. Some of his characters are either caracatures or are intended for comic relief, with the realistic and the comic dealt with as separate modes of writing belonging to the same narrative. Some of Dickens' characters are overly sentimental. There may be comic characters, with Scott, but they silliness is over after a couple of sentences. There is the influence Scott had on writers of fiction and history. Scott, inventor of the historic novel. James Fennimore Cooper. Robert Louis Stevenson. Goethe. Emil Ludwig, author of the history, "Napoleon." Mark Twain wrote that the South needed to get over the writings of Walter Scott, because Scott had filled the minds of the young southern men with romantic notions of chivalry, heroism and warfare, probably contributing to war positivity. Which takes me back to the beginning, to the value of Scott's books in helping to instill in boys the traditional male virtues. Maybe we have let the pendulum swing too far. Moderation in all things. The branch becomes more and more brittle the farther you venture from the main stem. Yes, Walter Scott is an important author to read. He may be just what is needed, a remedy for our times. Dicken's books seem to focus on informing the public on the need for social reform, while Scott's seem to focus on instilling individual virtue, while also providing a backdrop of the injustices after--and possibly as a consequence of--Scotland's unification with England. Another of Scott's major themes is the accomodation necessary for persons, accustomed to practicing the archaic virtues of an earlier era, to conform to a new regime with more laws and regulations. One deslt with social constructs, the othe with the individual. Scott's program would be applicable under any social system, in any country, at any time.

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Century Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Quentin Durward; Ivanhoe; Kenilworth
Scott, Sir Walter
Book Condition
Used - VG/G
Modern Library
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
no date

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About the Seller

Century Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2003
Castle Rock, Colorado

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