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Limburg 1Lauren LimburgENL 3212Dr. Maioli4/18/17A Line Between Romance and the Novel: ClassifyingIvanhoeinto a GenreSir Walter Scott’sIvanhoe; A Romancewas quite unusual for the eighteenth century.While most writers were trying to distance themselves from the classification of “Romance,”Scott labeled his work as a Romance on the cover page. However, since so much time had beenspent creating distance from the categorization of Romance, a new form of writing had emerged:The Novel. Defining the Novel and Romance come down to plot points, style, detail, and thespecific content. The exact line for this paper will be derived from Ian Watt’sThe Rise of theNovelas he made the distinction between the structure of the Novel and how it deviated from theRomance. The three major distinctions being the rejection of traditional plots, particularitywhether it be in individuals, time, and space, and referential language.Ivanhoe; A Romance(hereinIvanhoe) is complicated by the Dedicatory Epistle to the Reverend Dr. Dryasdust merelyfour pages later. Scott fears thatIvanhoewill be placed in that same "class with the idle novelsand romances of the day" (5). Scott goes out of his way to write a letter putting distance betweenNovels and Romances, but he still labels his work as such. The matter is further complicated byScott as he writes "the public would at once have seen the propriety of inscribing a workdesigned to illustrate the domestic antiquities of England" (5). This leads one to believe it couldbe historical fiction. The confusion in classification raises the question: What isIvanhoe? Is ithistorical fiction, a novel, or a romance? In this essay, I hope to demonstrate the intricacies of
Limburg 2such a publication and how Scott blended two genres to produce a story that felt modern andintricate.Ivanhoeappears as a glimpse into medieval times with extensive detail and accurateportrayals of the lives and daily rules. It is in these details thatIvanhoebegins to distinguishitself as the idea of the novel known today. The details of time and space are mentioned at greatlength and effect the plot of the novel in ways that the romance lacked. “That large decayedoak…marks the boundaries over which Front-de-Boeuf claims authority...There is now no fear ofpursuit” (Scott 62). Space is a factor in pursuit and one of the biggest reasons why the yeomencan lay siege to Front-de-Boeuf's castle, the remaining allies to the knights are too far away andthe nearest castle could not be reached. Whereas in certain Romances like