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Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
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Ivanhoe (1819)

by Walter Scott

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,21266494 (3.76)1 / 331
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    A Search for the King by Gore Vidal (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: A light historical novel about what was happening with Richard in captivity while Ivanhoe is trying to keep England from falling apart.
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English (63)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (66)
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Sir Walter Scott is credited with having invented the historical novel, and his Waverley series of books were the first critical and commercially successful stories to feature fictional characters alongside historical figures, and participating in actual events.

In Ivanhoe he revisited that formula, featuring a vivid cast of fictional characters interacting with King John and his Norman barons in England in 1194. The basic story is fairly straightforward, almost to the point of being predictable (though that might not have been the case in 1820): having been disowned and disinherited by his ferociously Saxon father for pledging loyalty to the Norman king, Richard I (of Lionheart fame), Wilfred of Ivanhoe leaves England to join the ill-fated Third Crusade where he covers himself in glory, battling valiantly against the Saracen. He returns to England, travelling in disguise to a major tournament in Ashby de la Zouch where, fighting incognito under the alias The Disinherited Knight, he emerges victorious on the first day after humiliating a host of proud but ineffectual Norman Barons. On the second day he fares almost as well, though the show is stolen by another anonymous knight clad in black armour who, having vanquished more Norman barons, disappears into the crowd, rather like the Lone Rnager leaving confusion in his wake as people ask, 'Who was that masked man?'

There are, however, a host of other complications to the plot, and Scott manages to keep the reader's attention firmly riveted to the book. He captures the feel of the Middle Ages, and even the plethora of details about the technicalities of armour, horseback warfare and estate management in the twelfth century fail to deflect the reader's interest. Given that this was published very early on in the history of the novel as a popular art form it seems surprisingly up to date. I had started reading it with a certain trepidation, and perhaps more from a sense of duty than with the expectation of much enjoyment, but it proved to be most entertaining. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Aug 27, 2014 |
One of my favorite periods of time is when King Arthur ruled in England, so it wasn't hard for me to admire this tale of chivalry and valiant characters. And the characters that held those qualities, I thought, were more the outlaws than some of the knights in the story. With the humor of Wamba and the uncertain love triangles, Ivanhoe was a wonderfully fanciful story to step into. ( )
  writercity | Aug 13, 2014 |
Another wonderful work by Scott. Ivanhoe, the last of a Saxon noble family splits with his father by his allegiance to the Norman Richard the Lion Hearted. The events take place after Ivanhoe's return to England where he confronts a conspiracy keeping Richard prisoner in Europe. This work is considered not only the revitalization of England's love of things medieval but of the modern rendition of Robin Hood. The characters are believable and the story captivating. Too bad it is often considered a young adult novel. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
This classic historical romance (pretty much the inspiration for the whole genre of medieval historical fiction) is extremely well written and, from a linguistic point of view, an excellent example of the complex sentence structure often used in 19th century novels and not often today, demanding much of the reader; it is as a consequence, a challenge to read, and it took me a fortnight to get through, though this edition was only some 350 pages, and it did get a bit dull and somewhat confusing in places. Ivanhoe himself is actually a fairly minor character throughout most of the novel, and is overshadowed by a number of other characters. For much of it, the novel is actually about oppression - the oppression suffered by the Jewish characters, Isaac of York and his daughter Rebecca at the hands and tongues of Norman and Saxon alike (though the author clearly disapproves of this anti-Semitism, an opposition which is a refreshing attitude for an author of this period, it does get quite dispiriting to read when this prejudice is displayed even by characters with whom the reader is supposed to sympathise); and the oppression suffered by Saxons at the hands of their Norman conquerors (though, given that the events take place some 130 years after the Norman Conquest, the starkness of this conflict was much less clear in reality than depicted in the novel). The novel is also famous, of course, for popularising the legend of Robin Hood and coining the epithet, Robin of Locksley. Good stuff, though it drags in places. ( )
1 vote john257hopper | Jun 7, 2014 |
Who wouldn't love the story of the Disinherited Knight? I love adventure stories that are also about love. This one is great! ( )
  Laurie.Schultz | Mar 15, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (119 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walter Scottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dettore, UgoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hitchcock, Alfred M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffett, H. Y.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richards, G. M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tulloch, GrahamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Edward A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In that pleasant district of merry England which is watered by the river Don, there extended in ancient times a large forest, covering the greater part of the beautiful hills and valleys which lie between Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster. The remains of this extensive wood are still to be seen at the noble seats of Wentworth, of Warncliffe Park, and around Rotherham. Here haunted of yore the fabulous Dragon of Wantley; here were fought many of the most desperate battles during the Civil Wars of the Roses; and here also flourished in ancient times those bands of gallant outlaws, whose deeds have been rendered so popular in English song.
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This is the main work for Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140436588, Paperback)

"Ivanhoe" (1819) was the first of Scott's novels to adopt a purely English subject and was also his first attempt to combine history and romance, which later influenced Victorian medievalism. Set at the time of the Norman Conquest, "Ivanhoe" returns from the Crusades to claim his inheritance and the love of Rowena and becomes involved in the struggle between Richard Coeur de Lion and his Norman brother John. The gripping narrative is structured by a series of conflicts: Saxon versus Norman, Christian versus Jew, men versus women, played out against Scott's unflinching moral realism.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:45 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The epitome of the chivalric novel, Ivanhoe sweeps readers into Medieval England and the lives of a memorable cast of characters. Ivanhoe, a trusted ally of Richard-the-Lion-Hearted, returns from the Crusades to reclaim the inheritance his father denied him. Rebecca, a vibrant, beautiful Jewish woman is defended by Ivanhoe against a charge of witchcraft -- but it is Lady Rowena who is Ivanhoe's true love. The wicked Prince John plots to usurp England's throne, but two of the most popular heroes in all of English literature, Richard-the-Lion-Hearted and the well-loved famous outlaw, Robin Hood, team up to defeat the Normans and reagain the castle. The success of this novel lies with Scott's skillful blend of historic reality, chivalric romance, and high adventure.… (more)

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Legacy Library: Sir Walter Scott

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Audible.com

14 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140436588, 0451531361

Columbia University Press

An edition of this book was published by Columbia University Press.

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