Rebecca impresses Bois-Guilbert by her spirited resistance to his advances. Wamba offers to spy out the castle posing as a confessor. She says she will give a signal when the time is ripe for storming the castle. The monk Ambrose arrives seeking help for Aymer who has been captured by Locksley's men.
Bois-Guilbert rescues Rebecca, striking down Athelstane who thinks she is Rowena. Ulrica perishes in the flames after singing a wild pagan hymn. Friar Tuck brings Isaac whom he has made captive, and engages in good-natured buffeting with the Black Knight. Together with Fitzurse he threatens to desert John, but the prince responds cunningly. At the priory the Grand-Master Beaumanoir tells Conrade Mountfitchet that he intends to take a hard line with Templar irregularities. Arriving, Isaac shows him a letter from Aymer to Bois-Guilbert referring to Rebecca whom Beaumanoir regards as a witch.
Albert insists to Bois-Guilbert that her trial for sorcery must proceed. Mountfichet says he will seek evidence against her. At Bois-Guilbert's secret prompting she demands that a champion defend her in trial by combat. Bearing a message to her father, the peasant Higg meets him and Nathan on their way to the preceptory, and Isaac goes in search of Ivanhoe. Albert persuades him that it is in his interest to appear. The Black Knight is rescued by Locksley from an attack carried out by Fitzurse on John's orders, and reveals his identity as Richard to his companions, prompting Locksley to identify himself as Robin Hood.
The party arrive at Coningsburgh. Athelstane appears, not dead, giving his allegiance to Richard and surrendering Rowena to Ivanhoe. Cedric agrees to the marriage of Ivanhoe and Rowena. Rebecca takes her leave of Rowena before her father and she quit England to make a new life under the tolerant King of Grenada. Critics of the novel have treated it as a romance intended mainly to entertain boys.
Scott treats themes similar to those of some of his earlier novels, like Rob Roy and The Heart of Midlothianexamining the conflict between heroic ideals and modern society. In the latter novels, industrial society becomes the centre of this conflict as the backward Scottish nationalists and the "advanced" English have to arise from chaos to create unity.
Similarly, the Normans in Ivanhoewho represent a more sophisticated culture, and the Saxons, who are poor, disenfranchised, and resentful of Norman rule, band together and begin to mould themselves into one people. The conflict between the Saxons and Normans focuses on the losses both groups must experience before they can be reconciled and thus forge a united England. The particular loss is in the extremes of their own cultural values, which must be disavowed in order for the society to function.
For the Saxons, this value is the final admission of the hopelessness of the Saxon cause. The Normans must learn to overcome the materialism and violence in their own codes of chivalry.
Ivanhoe and Richard represent the hope of reconciliation for a unified future. Ivanhoe, though of a more noble lineage than some of the other characters, represents a middling individual in the medieval class system who is not exceptionally outstanding in his abilities, as is expected of other quasi-historical fictional characters, such as the Greek heroes. The location of the novel is centred upon southern Yorkshirenorth-west Leicestershire and northern Nottinghamshire in England.
Castles mentioned within the story include Ashby de la Zouch Castle now a ruin in the care of English HeritageYork though the mention of Clifford's Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scottlikewise an extant English Heritage property, is anachronisticit not having been called that until later after various rebuilds and 'Coningsburgh', which is based upon Conisbrough Castlein the ancient town of Conisbrough near Doncaster the castle also being a popular English Heritage site. Reference is made within the story to York Minsterwhere the climactic wedding takes place, and to the Bishop of Sheffield, although the Diocese of Sheffield did not exist at either the time of the novel or the time Scott wrote the novel and was not founded until Such references suggest that Robin Hood lived or travelled in the region.
Conisbrough is so dedicated to the story of Ivanhoe that many of its streets, schools, and public buildings are named after characters from the book. The modern conception of Robin Hood as a cheerful, decent, patriotic rebel owes much to Ivanhoe. Scott appears to have taken the name from an anonymous manuscript — written in — that employs "Locksley" as an epithet for Robin Hood.
Owing to Scott's decision to make use of the manuscript, Robin Hood from Locksley has been transformed for all time into " Robin of Locksley ", alias Robin Hood. There is, incidentally, a village called Loxley in Yorkshire. Scott makes the 12th-century's Saxon-Norman conflict a major theme in his novel. The original medieval stories about Robin Hood did not mention any conflict between Saxons and Normans; it was Scott who introduced this theme into the legend.
Scott also shunned the late 16th-century depiction of Robin as a dispossessed nobleman the Earl of Huntingdon. This, however, has not prevented Scott from making an important contribution to the noble-hero strand of the legend, too, because some subsequent motion picture treatments of Robin Hood's adventures give Robin traits that are characteristic of Ivanhoe as well.
They have quarrelled with their respective fathers, they are proud to be Saxons, they display a highly evolved sense of justice, they support the rightful king even though he is of Norman-French ancestry, they are adept with weapons, and they each fall in love with a "fair maid" Rowena and Marian, respectively. This particular time-frame was popularised by Scott. He borrowed it from the writings of the 16th-century chronicler John Mair or a 17th-century ballad presumably to make the plot of his novel more gripping.
Robin's familiar feat of splitting his competitor's arrow in an archery contest appears for the first time in Ivanhoe. The general political events depicted in the novel are relatively accurate; the novel tells of the period just after King Richard's imprisonment in Austria following the Crusade and of his return to England after a ransom is paid.
Yet the story is also heavily fictionalised. Scott himself acknowledged that he had taken liberties with history in his "Dedicatory Epistle" to Ivanhoe. Modern readers are cautioned to understand that Scott's aim was to create a compelling novel set in a historical period, not Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott provide a book of history.
There has been criticism of Scott's portrayal of the bitter extent of the "enmity of Saxon and Norman, represented as persisting in the days of Richard" as "unsupported by the evidence of contemporary records that forms the basis of the story. Freeman criticised Scott's novel, stating its depiction of a Saxon—Norman conflict in late twelfth-century England was unhistorical. Freeman cited medieval writer Walter Mapwho claimed that tension between the Saxons and Normans had declined by the reign of Henry I.
This book claimed that the Saxons and Normans had so merged together through intermarriage and cultural assimilation that outside the aristocracy it was impossible to tell "one from the other.
The novel generated a new name in English — Cedric. The original Saxon name had been Cerdic but Scott misspelled it — an example of metathesis. In England init would have been unlikely for Rebecca to face the threat of being burned at the stake on charges of witchcraft. It is thought that it was shortly afterwards, from the s, that the Church began to undertake the finding and punishment of witches and death did not become the usual penalty until the 15th century.
Even then, the form of execution used for witches in England was hanging, burning being reserved for those also convicted of treason.
There are various minor errors, e. Francis of Assisi only began his preaching ten years after the death of Richard I. But it is crucial to remember that Ivanhoeunlike the Waverly books, is entirely a romance. It is meant to please, not to instruct, and is more an act of imagination than one of research. Despite this fancifulness, however, Ivanhoe does make some prescient historical points. The novel is occasionally quite critical of King Richard, who seems to love adventure more than he loves the well-being of his subjects.
This criticism did not match the typical idealised, romantic view of Richard the Lion-Hearted that was popular when Scott wrote the book, and yet it accurately echoes the way King Richard is often judged by historians today.
Rebecca may be based on Rebecca Gratz a Philadelphia teacher and philanthropist and the first Jewish female college student in America. Scott's attention had been drawn to Gratz's character by novelist Washington Irvingwho was a close friend of the Gratz family.
The two Jewish characters, the moneylender Isaac of York and his beautiful daughter Rebecca, feature as main characters; the book was written and published during a period of increasing advancement and awareness for the emancipation of the Jews in Englandand their position in society is well documented. Most of the original reviewers gave Ivanhoe an enthusiastic or broadly favourable reception.
More than one reviewer found the work notably poetic. Several of them found themselves transported imaginatively to the remote period of the novel, although some problems were recognised: the combining of features from the high and late middle ages; an awkwardly created language for the dialogue; and antiquarian overload.
The author's excursion into England was generally judged a success, the forest outlaws and the creation of 'merry England' attracting particular praise. Rebecca was almost unanimously admired, especially in her farewell scene.
The plot was either criticised for its weakness, or just regarded as of less importance than the scenes and characters. The scenes at Torquilstone were judged horrible by several critics, with special focus on Ulrica. Athelstane's resurrection found no favour, the kindest response being that of Francis Jeffrey in The Edinburgh Review who suggested writing anonymously, like all the reviewers that it was 'introduced out of the very wantonness of merriment'.
An operatic adaptation of the novel by Sir Arthur Sullivan entitled Ivanhoe ran for over consecutive performances in Rossini's opera is a pasticcio an opera in which the music for a new text is chosen from pre-existent music by one or more composers. Scott attended a performance of it and recorded in his journal"It was an opera, and, of course, the story sadly mangled and the dialogue, in part nonsense. The railway running through Ashby-de-la-Zouch was known as the Ivanhoe line between andin reference to the book's setting in the locality.
London and New York: Frederick Warne. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Ivinghoe. This article is about Walter Scott's novel. For other uses, see Ivanhoe disambiguation. Novels portal. Nineteenth-Century Fiction. Graham Tulloch Edinburgh,— March Autumn Studies in English Literature Rice. The Historical Novel. Penguin Books. The New York Times.
Archived from the original on 15 July Yale University Press. Oxford, Clarendon Press, The English and the Norman Conquest. The Making of English National Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Book Review. The Spectator. Archived from the original on 3 December Here it is: Over on the other side - in shade, so the pic I took from that side doesn't show it at all - is his dog.
He looks like a nice guy, doesn't he? I like him. Could there be a more arbitrary title to any famous book in the English language? Lady Rowena 2. Peter Folken - Ivanhoe (Vinyl de Bois-Guilbert 3. Front de Boeuf 4. Friar Tuck 5. Isaac the Jew 6. The Black Knight 7. Cedric 8. Ivanhoe 9. Richard Coeur-de-Lion Prince John Athelstane Wamba Rebecca Albert Malvoisin Waldemar Fitzurse Gurth Maurice de Bracy Locksley Ulrica Me And by the way I liked it.
It was fun. Mar 15, Jason rated it really liked it. Oh, this was very good. I'll lend you my copy! Yes, it's full of lengthy description, but there is action and adventure, romance and politics, and is generally a thrill, Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott.
I had to skim it, and ended up breezing through a lot of Scott's descriptions of clothing or setting, but as Allan Massie wrote i Oh, this was very good. I had to skim it, and ended up breezing through a lot of Scott's descriptions of clothing or setting, but as Allan Massie wrote in The Telegraph, "Scott wrote fast and often carelessly, and he should be read in the same way.
He is a novelist for greedy readers, not for dainty ones. View 1 comment. Sep 12, John Anthony rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction.
Set in the reign of Richard I; the Lionheart being on crusade much of the time, leaving England to the mercy no chance! I found it quite a page turner. Of particular interest to me was Scott's portrayal of relations between the subjugated and resentful English and their Norman conquerors. The position of the Jews in England is fascinating too and two of them have an important part in Set in the reign of Richard I; the Lionheart being on crusade much of the time, leaving England to the mercy no chance!
The position of the Jews in England is fascinating too and two of them have an important part in the story. Regarded as less than animals on one level; on the other hand they were the bankers and so we couldn't do without them.
Lots of fighting here and the art of chivalry. The latter compares favourably with the princes of the church in England. Richard puts in the odd appearance at crucial points. Scott is balanced in his assessment of him. R's heart was in the right place but he neglected his country. Lurv figures in it too of course. I enjoyed reading it and want to read more on this period of history. This book took me a while to read, which is rare for me, so yea.
This is a novel that, as I understand it, almost single-handedly revived the popularity of medieval chivalry and heroism in 19th century literature. The culture of the American South profoundly admired Scott's world view. Stories like Ivanhoe were spiritual fuel to their sense of honor and privilege. Also, with Scott, a major branch of literature was consolidated which in his time was beginning to be distinguished by the intelligentsia from "serious literature.
This is of course a grossly simplified classification, but for some purposes a useful one which both Scott and Austen recognized. Just get past the first couple of chapters and you'll be hooked. I can see now, after having read Ivanhoewhere most of our notions of the medieval ways and of Robin Hood originated.
It seemed at once both familiar and foreign jumping into this book. I could see the beginnings of certain conventions — and the glaring lack, as well.
It reminded me both of the Canterbury tales and of old Hollywood movies; it was actually kind of weird. It begins with two minor characters, for instance, and not the main character, Ivanhoe.
Ivanhoe is actually introduced somewhat I can see now, after having read Ivanhoewhere most of our notions of the medieval ways and of Robin Hood originated. Ivanhoe is actually introduced somewhat late, and he's mostly incognito in his first appearance, so you're kind of thrown into the story with little or no ties to anyone in particular.
It's hard to care about the characters or the story that way, so I didn't have much emotion invested into the story and got easily bored. After a few chapters, I found myself watching the movie adaptation to get me jump started, the one starring Robert Taylor, which, notably, didn't start with the minor characters at all but started with Ivanhoe's back story, him coming back from the crusades, on a mission to raise enough money to free King Richard.
This is what the book lacked in the beginning. It lacked that motor, that thing that gives readers a reason to read through all the descriptive chapters in which nothing really happens just yet. As a result, the book seems a bit aimless and happenstance, and it's hard to figure out who to even care for, until you get deeper into the book and discover some of the whys and wherefores of the situations.
For instance, Ivanhoe and Rowena are childhood sweethearts, and you're supposed to root for them as a couple, but they are apart for most of the book, and you barely see them express their love for each other. There is, in fact, very little that happens in the span of the book that would lead anyone to think that Ivanhoe is better off with Rowena than with any other woman.
And there IS another woman, Rebecca, in the book who through her actions seems a more deserving character than Rowena. There's another man as well, for Rowena, but the point is Rebecca is the one the reader would Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott root for to win the heart of Ivanhoe. Rebecca actually, genuinely cares for Ivanhoe, not just in an emotional sense, partly out of gratitude for Ivanhoe's kind treatment of her father, but in a medical sense, when Ivanhoe gets mortally wounded in a tournament.
She's the one who looks after him and with her exceptional healing skills helps him to get better. She's the one who generously funds him, too, using the jewelry she has inherited from her mother. Not only that, but when Rebecca needs saving, it's Ivanhoe alone who saves her. The story revolves more around her than around Rowena.
But Rebecca is Jewish, and I guess that and the fact that Ivanhoe and Rowena were childhood sweethearts, make any relationship between Ivanhoe and Rebecca impossible.
The way the book is written, it absolutely makes no sense to a modern reader of romance. If there was more interaction between Ivanhoe and Rowena, or if more of their back story was revealed, then I think it would have made more sense and been more gratifying to have them come together in the end; as it was, you have only the author's word that Ivanhoe and Rowena were already an item before any of the events in the book happened.
So for me, that romance story arc needed more of the usual conventions to make it work. The action-adventure story, similarly, needed more of the usual conventions, or at least a proper back story to give it more reason to exist.
I couldn't figure out, for instance, why Ivanhoe needed to enter the tournament at all. In the movie version, it was because he needed the prize money for King Richard's ransom, but the reason in the book is actually not that clear, and the tournament turns out to be a very big part of the story.
The later two parts of the action-adventure makes a little more sense; there seems to be a clear mission, rescue the hostages from within the castle, and later, save Rebecca from a death sentence by being her champion and winning a fight. So I could more easily accept the plotting in those areas. The first third, though, seemed a bit senseless to me. The language seems appropriate for the time, yet easy enough to read. The characters were nicely drawn, and some of them were actually very engaging.
Also, as he was injured for much of the book, he was absent from a lot of the action and so seemed more like a prop than a main character. I can see why some people might laud this book, if it was one of the first of its kind, but at the same time it was kind of baffling and boring by the standards of today. I imagine books in this genre have come a long, long, LONG way since this first came out, and if this book were rewritten today, it would be a very, very different book indeed.
I wasn't wowed, but it wasn't TOO bad. Finished reading March 25, Although it took me quite a while to get used to the language and sentence structure, I really enjoyed this one. Ivanhoe is part adventure, part historical fiction, part romance, and all fun.
I can't help but wonder why the book is called Ivanhoe, though. The title character is certainly not the main character, nor even one of the better written characters. As a matter of fact, most of the characters didn't appear to be all that complex or interesting. I vote we re-name this book Rebecca. Because Although it took me quite a while to get used to the language and sentence structure, I really enjoyed this one.
Good gravy, I've had Ivanhoe on my literary back burner for longer than I can remember. I like my adventure stories to have I expected adventure in Ivanhoe since it often falls into the same category as a lot of other swashbuckling adventures, filled with exci Good gravy, I've had Ivanhoe on my literary back burner for longer than I can remember. I expected adventure in Ivanhoe since it often falls into the same category as a lot of other swashbuckling adventures, filled with excitement.
I think my copy was broken, because I didn't get much excitement out of it. It's not that it's a bad story by any stretch of the imagination. And then there's a lot of stuff about politics and religion, which actually was pretty interesting, if a little unbelievable for the period in which the story was to take place. Likely that Ivanhoe would have had much opportunity to really hook up with the Jewish Rebecca? About as likely as Jack, a third-class passenger on a sinking ship, would hook up with high-class Rose in that dumb movie, Titanic.
But there were lots of pages of talky-talk that seemed very unrealistic. Everyone in the twelfth century, according to Walter Scott, was pretty well-educated and awful liberal-minded. But it goes beyond that!
There's a scene in which there is a fire, and I swear pages went by where people are talking about the fire, but no one is actually making any movement to leave. Maybe it was my imagination but that scene dragged on forever. And there's so much greenery in the twelfth century! Maybe as a 21st-century gal it's hard to imagine so much greenery, but this went beyond the woods and the hills and the dales.
Everyone wore green, there was green hanging everywhere. Green, apparently, was the new black in Pages and pages of discussion about the size of the tables, the wood the tables were made of, what was on the tables, what the people sitting at the tables looked like, why some people weren't at the table But people really seem to love this story, so who am I to discourage anyone else from reading it?
There were some good things about this as well, like an appearance of Robin Hood. A lot of what we believe about Robin Hood actually can be traced back to Ivanhoeso that's pretty cool.
I am glad to have read this, even though I learned in the Afterword that not only was Scott's writing sloppily anachronistic, but he also wrote the story to try to make some big bucks. For some reason that sort of rubbed me the wrong way, though certainly he's not the first nor the last writer to be in the writing game just for the Benjamins. I'm mostly just relieved to be able to cross this off my list. I want someone to bring the Trysting tree back into popularity. There's something pretty neat-o about meeting under a tree to discuss really important things.
View all 26 comments. Oct 27, Randyn rated it it was amazing. In fact, I remember as a kid creating elaborate scenarios in my head where Ivanhoe runs off with the Jewish Rebecca instead of staying with the English Rowena. In fact, reading it this time around, I almost found myself liking the villain Brian du Bois-Guillbert.
He might have been evil, but at least he was able to step outside of the prejudices o normally I don't like it when protagonists in books are anachronistically liberal and unprejudiced, but I would have made an exception for this story.
He might have been evil, but at least he was able to step outside of the prejudices of his time and would have been willing to give up everything and marry Rebecca. Also, he was an atheist, which was pretty cool.
I mean, what did Ivanhoe actually have going for him? He was an unimaginatively nice and chivalrous guy who was loyal to the brave but stupid Richard the Lion-Hearted.
That's about it. He certainly wasn't any kind of visionary, and anyway, he was injured for most of the book. May 11, Penny rated it really liked it. I read this for a college literature course, and I remember being one of the few people in the class who liked it.
I remember my professor even admitted to not liking it very well. I found it delightful, in the same way Robin Hood and King Arthur tales are delightful. You have to have an appreciation for the whimsical, though, and not take anything too seriously. It's probably no coincidence that I liked this novel and I also still read YA fiction at my advanced age.
They made the ending of the movie a little happier than the book. They also made more of the romantic attraction between Ivanhoe and Rebecca.
There was some of that in the book, but the two did a better job of resisting temptation in the book, which made them more likeable characters, although the movie characters may have been more realistic. Jul 03, Julie Davis rated it it was amazing. Yes, I know I just listened to this book. Am enjoying it immensely - again! Consequently I listened to B. Harrison's excellent narration to help me get into the book. And it worked. I initially enjoyed it it on the level of Yes, I know I just listened to this book.
I initially enjoyed it it on the level of adventure novel, a la Treasure Island the adventure novel I listened to just before this. I was surprised at the inventive plot twists, the laugh-out-loud humor, and most of all at Rebecca. Here is someone who is female, from a despised group, and who is only valued by most for her beauty.
Yet, she is articulate, quick witted, and will not allow herself to be used as a pawn or allow others to get away with facile explanations for their own evil actions.
What a role model! Overall, Ivanhoe was a reminder not to avoid a classic just because the first chapter seems a little difficult or because one thinks the plot is hackneyed. Highly recommended. View all 9 comments. The book that accounts for most of the writer's reputation. In this he attempts to make a turn towards the past by writing a story that had as its model the medieval romance, as it would be written in the 12th or the 13th century.
A story full of noble - and not so noble - knights, beautiful damsels - often in distress - non-strict priests, witty servants, charming thieves, and much more of the character cast that one finds in this genre. This story is, of course, adventurous and exciting, exce The book that accounts for most of the writer's reputation. This story is, of course, adventurous and exciting, excessive in some places, emotional and often funny, and revolves around brave deeds of nobles and commoners that try to defend their honour and the honour of the weak from the villains who have no moral reservations.
The author is doing a great job in imitating the pompous style of these romances, using a pseudo-archaic language to render the language of the time. These, of course, are the one side of this book. The author had, as I said, the medieval romance as a model when he was writing this book, but at the same time he did not seem to want to drift away from his personal style, so he created an ideal combination of this old genre with the historical novel of its time, preserving all the beauty and romance, adding realism and a critical look.
So the story is full of nostalgia for a noble past, but at the same time the writer as a historian or in satirical mood criticises the conditions of life that prevailed at that time, the prejudices, especially those against the Jews, the injustice and the prevalence of the law of the strong, ending up even to question the concept of chivalry. In the context of this realism, there are many historical references that I imagine are part of the author's attempt to talk about things of his time.
One of the main issues he deals is the conflict between the Saxons and their conquerors, the Normans, who had imposed a regime of violence and lawlessness. The writer, talks much about the effects of this division, the bitterness felt by the Saxons and their desire for revenge, but ends with the fact that in the end these two so different peoples eventually became one when equality and justice prevailed in their relationship.
Of course, there are too many parallels with more periods of British history and it would be pointless to mention them in my brief review. The result of all of these was, of course, the creation of a masterpiece that obviously its diachronicity and popularity over the years are better evidence of its value than my own positive opinion. A wonderful book that overflows with romance, offering us a beautiful story of bravery and heroism with a truly enjoyable narrative that takes us ideally into medieval England and passes messages to the reader that are precious in every place and every age.
Ivanhoe is a classic that is well worth reading for its historical significance alone. Personally, I have mixed feelings about the book itself, but I'm happy I read it. The writing isn't accessible and the characters lack dept, but Ivanhoe still proved an interesting read. I found Ivanhoe fascinating in many ways.
First of all, the historical setting and the events it describes were quite completing. I understand that the novel isn't completely historically accurate, but I still think it can tea Ivanhoe is a classic that is well worth reading for its historical significance alone. I understand that the novel isn't completely historically accurate, but I still think it can teach us something about this period in English history.
Moreover, not only is Ivanhoe a historical novel, it is also one that has historical significance. Published init is often credited with popularizing medieval history and romance. The novel probably had a profound influence on literature set in medieval times. Moreover, it definitely influenced our modern perceptions of famous characters such as: Richard the Lionheart, King John, Robin Hood and his gang the merry friar and so on.
As a novel, Ivanhoe failed to impress me. The plot isn't bad as such, but somehow the novel feels too long. The writing is at times beautiful and there were even some comic episodes, but on the overall the novel feels overwritten. The moralizing passages are often particularly long. While the novel somewhat explores the Jewish- English relations, it doesn't really go into depth.
The position of Jews in medieval England is a subject I'm interested it. While I'm glad it was a part of the book, I was left hungry for more. Similarly, some other historical events were not really explored in detailed. A large part of the novel is devoted to the concept of chivalry and christian morality and quite frankly, most of it was quite boring. More than anything, this novel lacks compelling characters.
In terms of characterization, everything is black and white. Ivanhoe the protagonist is such a dull character that even minor characters seem more interesting. This 'good guy' is so annoyingly and unconvincingly perfect, that the cardboard villain seems more human.
There is no character development to speak of in this novel, not when it comes to the protagonist and hardly any when it comes to others.
In my opinion, Rebecca 'The Jewess' is the only character that came to life. She is absolutely the best character in the novel and the only thing that saves it from being mediocre. If only Ivanhoe had the sense to fall in love with her or express something else than 'platonic' feelings, maybe he wouldn't have seemed such a bore. He isn't much of a protagonist, I'm afraid. Indeed, this novel had its flaws. Nevertheless, I would still recommend it.
Apr 22, Milda rated it it was amazing. Be prepared. Sir Walter Scott will take you to an era with great detail and adventure. Ivanhoe contains a fascinating portrayal of the Saxon and Norman cultures and it has it all: magnificent battles, corrupt priests and abbots, estranged fathers and sons, Robin Hood, Richard the Lionhearted, Knights Templar I love this book so much.
Aug 21, Natalie rated it it was amazing. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Wamba is hysterical, Rebecca a true heroine, the writing style magnificent, and all the other characters admirable or detestable by turns.
I really love this book. View all 5 comments. Sep 30, Nicola rated it it was amazing Shelves: bookshistorical-fiction. This was meant to be set during the Age of Chivalry after all, I had great fears that there would be people declaiming right and left, maidenly honour being besmirched and people reading poetry as entertainment.
In the fragile state I was in I wasn't sure I'd be able to cope. However I needed have worried, Ivanhoe was an absolute cracker. Not a dull moment from start to finish. In fact I don't think there was much breathing space from start to finish. There were also jokes from 'rude mechanicals' which were genuinely funny without needing anyone to explain the punchline. To make Ivanhoe the story it is, Walter Scott throws in a vast heaping of history, adds large chunks of realistic ambiance and spices everything up with more than a dash of mythical story telling i.
King Richard is missing and rumours abound, the villainous Prince John plots and schemes for the throne and the greenwoods ring to the sound of Merry Men. Also back from the Crusades comes the brave young Ivanhoe, bosom friend of his majesty and estranged from his family for daring to love a lady of most noble Saxon birth who her guardian Ivanhoes own father wished to marry off to another great Saxon prince and so create yet another contender for the vacantish throne.
And here we have the first of the clashes portrayed in the book - Saxon vs Norman. Shortly after another is introduced in the form of a cringing Jew who is despised and reviled by virtue of being suspected of growing rich off the blood of Christian men and for simply existing. Sir Walter Scott does make rather a caricature of Issac the moneylender but he does show the social conditions which lead to his devotion and love of money.
These aren't the only themes in the work but they are probably the most prominent and Walter Scott doesn't shy away from showing how even the best of men could be blinded by their society taught bigotry.
Ivanhoe was a man of his time, a super man of his time to be sure, but still greatly flawed. Although refraining from actual physical abuse his contempt for even the virtuous Jewess Rebecca threatens to overshadow our opinion of him. This determination to show reality rather than an entirely idealised picture of life is one of the great feature of the book. In tournaments knight die - lances splinter and impale the unlucky, swords don't just clang harmlessly off of armour, they sheer through blood and bone.
You can almost hear the screams of agony coming from the pages during these 'friendly' entertainments.
The lands are practically lawless, only the powerful and extremely well connected had any real hope of getting 'justice'. Women who were abducted were very likely raped. Knights were neither gentle nor kind.
Torture was rife, religious bigotry was beyond endemic and might made right from King down. Of course this was a fictional story so in the end the good guys are going to win; for all of Walter Scotts gritty realism this was never really not going to be the case. Still, even the ending gives pause for thought; there isn't quite the golden little ribbon neatly tying everything up in one happy package.
A wonderful story, it only loses half a star because, while entertaining, the people inside the covers never show any actual individuality. Baring the nuanced Rebecca they have a character and a section of society they are meant to represent and they don't step outside of these roles.
Even the titular character Ivanhoe is no more than a cardboard cutout, although there is a slight suggestion of personal growth near the very end there isn't any more time for this to be developed. This lack of depth didn't really worry me, the story was great and I loved it.
I'm definitely looking forward to reading what else he has on the list. View all 3 comments. Feb 21, Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it. On my short list of books I am actively reading, I include a "bucket book," defined as a book I really should have read by this time in my life, but which for various reasons, I have not.
In this category, I just finished Ivanhoe, which I found quite enjoyable. I think it was also my first Scott novel. The book is entertaining, with lots of action and adventure. I found that the minor characters, like Gurth and Wamba, had more personality than the title character, Ivanhoe.
Erth Mx - Various - Energy 93 (Vinyl, LP), Double Barrel - Dave And Ansel Collins* - Double Barrel (Vinyl, LP, Album), Blind Mattis Leken - Swåp - Du Da (CD, Album), No Ordinary Return - Latin Quarter - Modern Times (Vinyl, LP, Album), 夏のLonely Night - Sugar (27) - Sugar Bean (Vinyl, LP, Album), Farbenspiel Des Winds - Helene Fischer - Für Einen Tag - Live 2012 (Blu-ray), Sporty Animal-Loving Extrovert - U96 - Golden Collection (CDr), Daily Bread - The Gits (2) - The Best Of The Gits (CD, Album), Alles Was Du Willst - Jürgen Renfordt - Lust Auf Gefühl (CD, Album)