Rebecca is the beautiful daughter of the wealthy Jewish banker, Isaac of York (Rebecca was played by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1952 film Ivanhoe.)  Isaac has just returned from the Holy Land on the same knight as Wilfred of Ivanhoe and meets Ivanhoe on the road to Rotherwood.  That night Isaac seeks refuge at Rotherwood but during the evening meal Ivanhoe hears of a plot by the Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert to kidnap Isaac and hold him for ransom.  

Disguised as a pilgrim, Ivanhoe helps Isaac escape from Bois-Guilbert.  Isaac is grateful and offers to repay his debt to Ivanhoe with a suit of armor and a war horse to participate in the tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle.  During the tournament Ivanhoe miraculously defeats four Norman nights including Bois-Gilbert but is badly injured.  Rebecca feels beholden to Ivanhoe for helping her father earlier so she tends his wounds using various herbs and other plants.  Rebecca’s healing techniques literally save Ivanhoe’s life as his wounds are life threatening.

In healing Ivanhoe and nursing him back to health she falls deeply in love with Ivanhoe. The kindness Ivanhoe showed her father earlier plus his bravery and skill displayed in the tournament against the Norman knights makes Ivanhoe the most chivalrous knight Rebecca has ever meet.  During the tournament Bois-Guilbert catches sight of Rebecca and swears that he must possess her and that no man is safe who would stand in his way.  When Rebecca was held captive in a castle Bois-Giulbert escapes with her and takes her to a stronghold of the Knights Templar.  While held captive, the Templars accuse Rebecca of using witchcraft to heal Ivanhoe and threaten to burn her at the stake. To find out more about Rebecca’s trial see info on Ivanhoe or Bois-Guilbert.

In the love triangle that existed between Ivanhoe, Rowena and Rebecca, people will invariably attempt to compare Rebecca to Rowena.  There really is no comparison other than both women are in love with Ivanhoe.  Rowena is a member of Saxon nobility whereas Rebecca is not noble and is persecuted because of her religious beliefs.  The reason most people admire Rebecca is that whenever she is threatened by violence and shameful acts she responds with nobility, pride, resolve and integrity.  Rebecca chooses her own fate and refuses to let others decide it for her even if it means her own death by fire.  In the end Rebecca resolves that to live with dignity one must be willing to die with honor.

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chateau de la mer • 339 Lindsay Lane, Corolla, NC