. ‘Ivanhoe Killing Moors’, by Richard Doyle
Ivanhoe Killing Moors

Ivanhoe Killing Moors

Richard Doyle

Hand-coloured wood engraving by the Dalziels

4¾ x 3½ inches

Titmarsh, M. A. [W. M. Thackeray],Rebecca and Rowena, facing 80.

Another disturbing scene in which Ivanhoe dispatches some dozens of the enemy. Thackeray ironically underplays the battles, one being much ‘like that of another’ and not worth the bother of reporting (81), but Doyle unsettles the viewer by showing Ivanhoe at his work. The design’s rhythmic organization, with Ivanhoe’s elongated sword slashing right and left, is redolent of the movement of a scythe, and alludes to the deadly presence of the Grim Reaper. Once again, the lightness of tone created by the comic expressions and doll-like treatment of the Moors is ironically at odds with the gruesome realities of killing.