Saturday, April 16, 2016

Inkling Explorations {April 2016}

It seems like forever since I've done one of Heidi's awesome Inkling Explorations!  So here I am for the April edition :)  This month's prompt is:

~ a description of a lady in literature ~

After much thought, I've decided to go with a passage from one of my favorite-ever books (Ivanhoe), describing one of my favorite-ever heroines (Rebecca of York).  Here we go!


Yet had the Jewess this advantage, that she was better prepared by habits of thought, and by natural strength of mind, to encounter the dangers to which she was exposed.  Of a strong and observing character, even from her earliest years, the pomp and wealth which her father displayed within his walls, or which she witnessed in the houses of other wealthy Hebrews, had not been able to blind her to the precarious circumstances under which they were enjoyed.  Like Damocles at his celebrated banquet, Rebecca perpetually beheld, amid that gorgeous display, the sword which was suspended over the heads of her people by a single hair.  These reflections had tamed and brought down to a pitch of sounder judgment a temper which, under other circumstances, might have waxed haughty, supercilious, and obstinate.

From her father's example and injunctions, Rebecca had learnt to bear herself courteously towards all who approached her.  She could not indeed imitate his excess of subservience, because she was a stranger to the meanness of mind and to the constant state of timid apprehension by which it was dictated; but she bore herself with a proud humility, as if submitting to the evil circumstances in which she was placed as the daughter of a despised race, while she felt in her mind the consciousness that she was entitled to hold a higher rank from her merit than the arbitrary despotism of religious prejudice permitted her to aspire to. 

Thus prepared to expect adverse circumstances, she had acquired the firmness necessary for acting under them…

Thus prepared to consider herself as the victim of misfortune, Rebecca had early reflected upon her own state, and schooled her mind to meet the dangers which she had probably to encounter.


You have to read the book to learn about Rebecca's story, and then to experience those stunningly brilliant tête-à-têtes she and Bois-Guilbert (*insert sobs*) have. They are seriously amazing, and the book would do you good.  So go read it ;)

Thanks for a great prompt, Heidi!  I love this link-up :)

23 comments:

  1. She sounds pretty darn awesome, Olivia :-)

    Hmmmmmmmmm, "bore herself with a proud humility" . . . I'll have to remember that idea when I go to write my Holocaust story. Not that I'd ever steal those exact WORDS from Walter Scott, but they might be useful as, well, Inspiration. If ya know what I mean. :-)

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    1. She really is, Katie. I think you'd love her :)

      I definitely get what you mean! It's a phrase that's really stuck with me. I can see it in the story!

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    2. I love those phrases that just stick out in your memory--that's how you know a writer is REALLY good :-)

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    1. Thanks, Katie! What did you think of the book?

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  3. Alright, you've convinced me! Haha, I have never read anything but the abridged Ivanhoe but at the moment I was looking for audiobooks to listen to while I work on a cross-stitch. (A HUGE cross-stitch.) Luckily, for me, my library has an audiobook of Ivanhoe. Yay! Rebecca seems like a fantastic character so I'm excited! Thanks for recommendation/pick, Olivia!

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    1. AAAHHH! Yaysies! I'm so happy you're going to listen to it, Cordy :) Let me know what you think of it! (And just so you know, it does take a while to get going.) Ooh, what's your cross-stitch of?

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    2. Thanks for the warning. I will beware. I will say that's one advantage with auidobooks, they just keep talking. Haha.
      Are you familiar with Thomas Kinkade's Disney prints? Well, there is a cross-stitch of his Sleeping Beauty scene. Here's a link to the actual picture:
      https://thomaskinkade.com/art/sleeping-beauty/
      I've probably stitched 200 stitchs and I have only covered less than a square inch of my fabric. It's going to take a lot of thread changes! Haha. But I love to cross-stitch sooo... :D

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    3. Hahaha! So what are you thinking of it so far?

      GAHH THAT IS GORGEOUS!! You're doing that?! How?? You must be an excellent cross-stitcher ;D

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  4. I want to read this book so much!! Judging from this description, Rebecca reminds me a little of Marian. Do you find them similar?

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    1. YES. DO IT. ;)

      I'm so glad you brought that up, Natalie! As a matter of fact, they do remind me of each other in some ways. They're both fiercely patriotic/loyal, brave, gentle, and just generally role models :D

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    2. I WILL. I PROMISE! :D
      So glad you see a similarity too!

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    3. GOOD! :)

      I definitely do!

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  5. She is such a fascinating character, Olivia! This description brought her to mind quite well!

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    1. Isn't she, though?! Thanks! I really love Rebecca :)

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  6. oooh cool post! btw I have a new email!

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  7. Pretty sure that Ivanhoe was the first place I heard of the Sword of Damocles. I remember having to go look it up in our encyclopedia.

    Rebecca is just an amazing character, beautiful through and through. Good choice!

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    1. Haha, yep! I actually just now looked it up myself…

      Absolutely! Thank you :)

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