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Ivanhoe (Waverley Novels #5)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  70,282 Ratings  ·  1,736 Reviews
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 L ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 544 pages
Published March 30th 2000 by Penguin Books (first published 1819)
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Feisty Harriet No, they do not relate. They are the "Waverly" novels because Sir Walter Scott did not reveal he was the author as they were published. His first book…moreNo, they do not relate. They are the "Waverly" novels because Sir Walter Scott did not reveal he was the author as they were published. His first book was "Waverly," published anonymously, and the rest were listed "by the author of Waverly." Wikipedia has a list of when and where each of these books take place, they jump around a lot in history and location, and are not part of a series like we think of them today.

Jared I'm reading it for pleasure! This is a classic! It is the story that did much to shape the modern legend of the Robin Hood tales. From my perspective,…moreI'm reading it for pleasure! This is a classic! It is the story that did much to shape the modern legend of the Robin Hood tales. From my perspective, that alone makes it a good reading,

For Example: "Locksley" becomes Robin Hood's title in the Scott novel, and it has been used ever since to refer to the legendary outlaw. Scott appears to have taken the name from an anonymous manuscript – written in 1600 – 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.) Source:

Also, the book has some historical significance as it was written and published during a period of increasing struggle for the emancipation of the Jews in England, and there are frequent references to injustices against them. You may say that Scott was writing this, at least in-part, as political propaganda. Walter Scott did a marvelous job at making one feel compassionate for the Jewess and her circumstances. He also made it very relate-able to Christensen's by constantly reminding them of the commonalities that they share in their beliefs with their common history and even hinted that the Jews have more right to claim ancestry in the bible.

I have to ask, what motivates a question of this sort? I suppose this may be appropriate question given the context of these modern times. Not judging the originator of this inquiry, as not much can be intuited by a simple question. Nevertheless, it brings to mind how lamentable it is that many people cannot appreciate the classics these days and have to be assigned classic literature by a professor in order to be motivated enough explore humanities rich past and greatest works of literature. Isn't it enough to praise a good work simply for being as great as it is.

While I wouldn't exactly characterize this book as the most praiseworthy of all the classics, it is, to me, much better than that of the more highly esteemed contemporary inventory consisting of glimmering vampires and a magical boy vs ignorant muggles and the nose-less man. The former have withstood the test of time, whereas the latter are riddled with plot-holes and inconsistencies that you can dive a truck through. Nevertheless, the latter are selling millions and everyone has read, yet the former is available free everywhere and not many have read it. Oh, but my lamentations do fall on deaf ears, I'm sure. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bill  Kerwin
Oct 12, 2009 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it

I believe Ivanhoe just misses being a great novel for two reasons. First of all, its characters, although not without subtlety, lack depth. (The exception to the rule is the “Jewess” Rebecca). Secondly, Scott’s style—at least as demonstrated here—suffers from a wordiness that continually dissipates the novel’s power. It is nevertheless an impressive achievement, original in conception, rich in themes, formidable in architecture, and powerful in its effects.
Jul 01, 2008 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
In Ivanhoe, Scott skillfully undermines the alienating characteristics of the medieval gothic while taking advantage of its familiarity to and popularity with nineteenth-century audiences. Although containing elements reminiscent of the earlier gothic, such as the corruption and intrigue of religious orders, the madness of Ulrica and the burning alive of Front-de-Beouf in his castle, it also pokes fun at some of the wilder elements of this genre: the resurrected phantom of Athelstane, for instan ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I love(d) this book and was torn between 4 and 5 stars. Can we call it 4.5? Heck, let's just say 5! I read it first long ago and it holds up well over the years (its and yours). A classic for a reason.

You'll find synopsis after synopsis here and elsewhere. But if you like adventure, heroism, romance, loyalty, betrayal...any or all of the above you won't go wrong here.

King Richard the Lion Heart...Robin Hood (Locksley)...Knights Templar...Saxons vs. Normans...Gentiles vs. Jews....Knights from the
Jan 21, 2017 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
It is hard to know what to say about Ivanhoe. It is part Robin Hood style adventure, part history and full of thematic richness. I was surprised that Ivanhoe himself figures into this tale somewhat sporadically. There are many characters who receive more in depth development, and the Jewess Rebecca is more fully developed than the heroine, Rowena.

The attitudes toward Jews in the novel make one uncomfortable in the same way that you feel when reading The Merchant of Venice. It is obvious that Sc
helen the bookowl
I have decided to put down this book and not finish it 2/3 of the way in, the reason being that while it was interesting to read about the old times of knights, tournaments and great battles at castles, it wasn't in any way interesting enough for me to keep on reading. I feel like being this far in, I've already gotten out of the story what I possibly could, and I don't really care about how everything's going to end.
Funnily enough, I was originally under the impression that this was going to b
Mar 05, 2008 Werner rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction in the Romantic style
Note, March 17, 2014: I posted this review some time ago, but just finished tweaking the language in one sentence to clarify a thought.

Obviously, this novel won't be every reader's cup of tea: the author's 19th-century diction will be too much of a hurdle for some, those who define novels of action and adventure as shallow will consider it beneath them, and those who want non- stop action will be bored by Scott's serious effort to depict the life and culture of his medieval setting. But those wh
Feb 02, 2017 Apatt rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
“Hearken,” he (Brian de Bois-Guilbert) said, “Rebecca; I have hitherto spoken mildly to thee, but now my language shall be that of a conqueror. Thou art the captive of my bow and spear—subject to my will by the laws of all nations; nor will I abate an inch of my right, or abstain from taking by violence what thou refusest to entreaty or necessity.”
“Stand back,” said Rebecca—“which portion of “no” dost thou not comprehend? Kindly desist from thou crapulous Trumpery posthaste!”

Some of the above qu
Ivanhoe. Seriously?! Could there be a more arbitrary title to any famous book in the English language? It would be like naming Lost "Benjamin Linus," or naming the original Dragonlance Chronicles "Caramon Majere." This isn't a book about Ivanhoe, it's a book with Ivanhoe in it.

Sir Walter Scott must have been sitting around his room with his D&D dice to come up with Ivanhoe.

Random Title List for Unnamed Book I Just Finished Writing About King Richard's Return From the Crusades and the Defeat
Mar 10, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I'm in the middle of complaining to Joanne that some book, which I told Joanne before I started was probably going to be boring and stupid, is indeed boring and stupid, and I plan to complain about it being boring and stupid for the next week because it's also long, and Joanne says silly things like "Why would you even start a book that you think will be boring and stupid?" Ivanhoe is why! Sometimes I'm wrong. I thought Ivanhoe would be boring and stupid, but it's a blast.

Flesh Wounds
Jun 29, 2016 Ashwood rated it liked it
This book took me a while to read, which is rare for me, so yea.
Aug 23, 2009 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel that, as I understand it, almost single-handedly revived the popularity of medieval chivalry and heroism in 19th century literature . . . and life. 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." His literary heirs
Oct 27, 2007 Randyn rated it it was amazing
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. 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 ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it
Oh, this was very good. I'd read that Woolf loved Scott, and when I told an academic mentor that I was going to read it, she exclaimed, "I had SUCH a crush on Ivanhoe! I'll lend you my copy!" I went into it with high expectations and it delivered. Yes, it's full of lengthy description, but there is action and adventure, romance and politics, and is generally a thrill. 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 ...more
May 11, 2007 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.

UPDATE: I just watched the A &a
Lada Fleur
Roman historique parfait du Moyen Age embelli aux coutumes chevalresques et coutoises, romantisees et envoutantes
Ahmad Sharabiani
930. Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott
آیوانهو - سر والتر اسکات (توسن) ادبیات

Ivanhoe, Walter Scott,
عنوان: انگلیس در هشت قرن پیش با قسمتهایی از جنگهای صلیبی؛ تالیف: سروالتر اسکات؛ ترجمه و نگارش: عبدالله انصاری؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، شرکت مطبوعات، 1320، مشخصات ظاهری: 160 ص؛ 11×17سم.، این کتاب تحت عنوان «آیوانهوئه» در سالهای مختلف با مترجمان و ناشران متفاوت چاپ گردیده است، موضوع: داستانهای انگلیسی -- قرن 19 م، انگلستان -- تاریخ -- ریچارد اول، 1189 - 1199 م. – داستان

عنوان: ایوانهو؛ تالیف: سروالتر اسکات؛ مترجم:
Apr 29, 2011 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can see now, after having read Ivanhoe, where 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
Sep 30, 2016 Nicola rated it it was amazing
4 1/2 stars

I was a little chary of starting this one when I did as I'd recently finished The Mysteries of Udolpho and I wasn't all that keen on embarking on another long and sometimes boring read. 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 worr
Antes de passar à opinião propriamente dita, tenho de falar sobre a edição portuguesa do Ivanhoe que tenho. Comprei-a em 2008 no hipermercado Continente, dentro daquelas publicações da de clássicos a preço convidativo. Já tinha lido As Aventuras de Tom Sawyer da mesma coleção e nada me desagradou, mas desta vez tenho dificuldades em encontrar algo de positivo para além do preço. Bastou-me ler o primeiro capítulo para decidir que não conseguia continuar a ler aquela tradução e que optaria ...more
Brianna da Silva
Well, that was fun. ^_^
Good gravy, I've had Ivanhoe on my literary back burner for longer than I can remember. I love a romping good adventure story, but when I say that I mean things like The Count of Monte Cristo, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again, The Odyssey or The Princess Bride. I like my adventure stories to have... adventure. I expected adventure in Ivanhoe since it often falls into the same category as a lot of other swashbuckling adventures, filled with exci ...more
Paula W
Jan 25, 2017 Paula W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Douglas Wilson
Feb 21, 2016 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. Fun.
Aug 13, 2008 Jessi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long time to read this despite being very diligent about it. I rented it from the library, and woe, I had to re-check it out after 2 weeks. It was frustrating because I originally started reading it in order to take up the time it would take for the library to get in the other books I wanted to read. The problem wasn't the story, it was the old-ish language used. The fact that the book was insanely thick with small print didn't help matters either. I do have to say I have grown very ...more
Oct 18, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ha! I finally finished it! Ivanhoe was great but it was definitely slow going for me. The author sometimes could get quite long winded while describing things which made it much too easy to put down. I've wanted to read this book ever since I saw the Ivanhoe episode of Wishbone as a kid. So, I have finally done it. I hesitate somewhat to mark this as historical fiction because it's definitely more fiction than historical but Sir Walter Scott is considered the "father of historical fiction".

Apr 07, 2015 cloudyskye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How could I not like this? My five-year-old nephew made me watch the TV movie (the one with Anthony Andrews as Ivanhoe) about a dozen times, so I was inspired to reread the original. I don't know much about historical correctness, but I did enjoy the language, all the thous and thees and stuff, the dashing and noble knights, the fair and gentle maidens, Saxons and Normans, Robin Hood, Richard Coeur de Lion, and how good ultimately triumphs over evil, i.e. bigotry, greed, selfish passions. Althou ...more
Nov 07, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
This was just okay for me, but I'm giving it 3 stars, because I liked the story. It was nicely done. I loved how the characters were portrayed. They were well drawn.

It is the writing that is holding me back with this book. I have nothing bad to say about it. It just wasn't my thing and it didn't speak to me. I did page math more times than I'd like to admit.
I read this last year - or rather, I ended up listening to the audiobook, on the tram to and from work. This was October-ish time, so just before I quit to go freelance. I think it'll probably always be associated with that for me.

It really wasn't the book I was expecting to read. Nothing to do with Scotland, for a start, and when they say Walter Scott pretty much introduced romantic chivalry to the British literary what-have-you, this is what they're talking about. Jousts. Favours from ladies.
Mar 01, 2009 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second reading: February 2017

First reading: December 2014

Indisputably a classic for all of the right reasons. This is an incredible adventure story that is full of famous icons and age old ideas about courtly love but it is also a fascinating social commentary and complex bit of storytelling. Sir Walter Scott provides highly entertaining content which also respects the intelligence and intellectual curiosity of its readers. Read Ivan home for the story but know that it will leave a mark on your
Jul 10, 2012 Jasmin rated it it was amazing
This is my favourite book of all time. It took me just over a month to complete it the first time back when I was in school; and I read at least a chapter every day! But I was studying for my classes too... nowadays it doesn't take me that long to get through it.

Every time I read it, it reawakens the joy of first discovery. The legend of Robin Hood is about as exciting as turning on a lightbulb when compared with the saga of Ivanhoe, which, to continue the simile, is like lighting a firework. O
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Catching up on Cl...: Ivanhoe - SPOILERS 13 73 Jan 25, 2017 03:01PM  
Roleplay through ...: Ivanhoe 1 2 Jan 24, 2017 01:30PM  
Catching up on Cl...: Ivanhoe - NO Spoilers 26 110 Jan 16, 2017 06:19PM  
Books2Movies Club: EPICS 03.3 – Ivanhoe – Part Three (Chapters 35-44) 2 12 Jul 15, 2016 06:27PM  
Books2Movies Club: EPICS 03.1 - Ivanhoe -- Part One (Chapters 1-17) 2 8 Jul 15, 2016 06:24PM  
Books2Movies Club: EPICS 03.0 - Ivanhoe -- Introduction 5 13 Jul 15, 2016 06:23PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Sir Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic
More about Walter Scott...

Other Books in the Series

Waverley Novels (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Waverley
  • Guy Mannering
  • The Antiquary
  • Rob Roy
  • The Monastery
  • The Abbot
  • Kenilworth
  • The Pirate
  • Fortunes of Nigel
  • Peveril of the Peak

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“For he that does good, having the unlimited power to do evil, deserves praise not only for the good which he performs, but for the evil which he forbears.” 91 likes
“We are like the herb which flourisheth most when trampled upon” 50 likes
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