Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ivanhoe” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Book* *Different edition

Ivanhoe (Waverley Novels #5)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  60,479 ratings  ·  1,422 reviews
The heroic adventures of Sir Wilfred make Ivanhoe perhaps Scott's most unforgettable work: the fiery rescue of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe and his fellow captives from Knight Templar's castle by Robin Hood; the wounded Ivanhoe's trial by combat with the powerful Knight to save the lovely Jewess Rebecca from the stake; and King Richard the Lion-Hearted's aid in Ivanhoe's triumph ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published 1995 by Wordsworth (first published 1819)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ivanhoe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ivanhoe

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
Bill  Kerwin

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.
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
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 17, 2014 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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. Ivanhoe is a total blast all the way through.

Flesh Wounds
Here's the test for
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
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
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
This wonderful novel has a few major, major, major flaws.

First, there must've been a mistake during the printing that was never corrected. I am sure the original title was going to be Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert.

No? It should have!

Second, there's not enough Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert.

Come on, you know Wilfred could've done us a big favour had he stayed wounded for life for all we cared, so long as the wasted pages he was in were better employed in giving more onstage time to the interesting Templ
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
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
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".

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
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
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.
So much fun! I LOVED this book! It was by no means a quick read for me - probably took about a month because I had to find time to really concentrate, not just skim it while multi-tasking ten other things as I usually do. Still, what a joy! The introduction of this particular edition says that Ivanhoe is probably Sir Walter Scott's worst-written novel. I can't imagine what the other ones were like because I thought Ivanhoe was perfect.

One thing I didn't love at first, or at least had to get us
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.
Apr 27, 2015 Susan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: بالای پانزده سال که هم حوصله ش سر نرود هم داستان را بفهمد
Shelves: بچگی
تو سنین دبستان خوندمش و اون موقع حوصلمو سر می برد با توصیفای فراوانش ولی چون عادت به نصفه کتاب خوندن نداشتم تمومش کردم و همونقدر که داستانشو فهمیدم خوشم اومد.یادمه فامیلی مترجمش هم شکیبا بود و من شک داشتم که مرده یا زن:|
یه بار دیگه باید بخونمش.اون موقع خیلی سر در نیاوردم.ولی بعضی جاهاشو دوست داشتم و می پسندیدم(انتظار ندارید که بگم کجاهاش؟!)فکر کنم این آیوانهو یک معشوقه ای داشت که من خیلی معشوقه هه رو دوست داشتم.مطمئن هم نیستم.ولی اگه معشوقه ای در کار بوده من دوستش داشتم!
بعضی توصیفاتش هم خیلی زند
I'm not sure if it was the neglected corner of our tiny library with it's vintage bound classic literature, or the old, worn cover of the pocket size edition that fit perfectly in my hands, or my need for depth after a summer of easy read, YA fiction, that initially drew me to it's 800+ pages, but whatever it was, Ivanhoe sunk it's claws in and I couldn't escape. I had to renew the book three times and use all kinds of self discipline to ignore the other books that kept beckoning me during my th ...more
Jun 10, 2008 Elaine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robin Hood and Sir Walter Scott lovers and anybody who likes a good classic.
Recommended to Elaine by: I read it for a book club
Review from 2006

Gallant knights, outlaws, suspense, reclaim of honor, love, burning castles, flying lances, strange French names, distressed Jews, Norman against Saxon, humor...all this makes Ivanhoe a fun and exciting story (I also found it a bit confusing at times). It's cool the way it's written with all of the thous and thees. One of my favorite lines is when Wilfred of Ivanhoe says, “If I could but drag myself to yonder window...” What happened to, “If I could walk over to that window”? I
Sir Walter Scott is commonly considered the father of the historical novel, his Waverley novels consisting of a series of twenty-two works of which Ivanhoe is one. Published in 1819, this novel is based on events from the end of the 12th century, during the time when Richard Lion-Heart returned from the Crusades to reclaim his kingship of England from his younger brother and caretaker during his absence, Prince John of Anjou. Throughout the work Scott is acutely aware of the continuing rivalry b ...more
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
I read Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe when I was very young, so reading it again now for a class was quite interesting. It was odd how much I remembered once I actually got started -- and strange the things that I didn't remember, like the fact that Robin Hood is in it!

Reading it now, halfway through the course, it staggered me how very typical it is of a Robin Hood text, and how much it reminded me of Chaucer, too. It's like some bizarre cross between an Arthurian text (with all the jousting and t
I re-reading of a classic by Walter Scott, specially R3's participation into the plot.

I just watched the movie Ivanhoe (1952) based on this classic book which served of inspiration to many historical fiction books after its publication.

Stars: Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine and George Sanders among others.
Tom Lowe
An amazing story. Sir Walter Scott is a master storyteller, and I enjoyed every single page of this classic. Though there are a ton of archaic, obsolete words that I had to look up, even the language gave the story an old feel, something you want to experience for a book written 200 years ago, and which is, in time, set more than 800 years ago. One scene near the end floored me, the near-premature burial of one of the characters, something that almost happened to Scott's own mother before he was ...more
John Leavens
One book, one tent, 2 guys on Denali for 3 weeks. We would read this aloud to make it last longer. I turned out to be an excellent way to enjoy this book
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
This was my first taste of the works of Sir Walter Scott and what a great taste it turned out to be!

Set in a romanticised Medieval England during the reign of Richard the Lion Heart, the story is one of adventure, romance, action, plotting, revenge and chivalry, all tied up together to form a good, old-fashioned romp. The titular Wilfred of Ivanhoe is a Saxon who finds himself banished from England after seeking to marry his father's beautiful ward without permission. Joining the Crusades to the
Well that was fun, and really interesting. Walter Scott spins out a tale for the ages, a classic that has entertained since its publication in 1819. The novel begins with Cedric, the proud and fiery Saxon lord having to extend the courtesy of his hall to a Knight Templar and a traveling abbott, both of whom he resents but is obliged to feast. He is gruff and ill-suited to the task, since his passions run against the current rulers of England, to the point of disinheriting his son Ivanhoe for fol ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Challenge Fac...: Angie & Grace ~ Ivanhoe 11 9 Apr 10, 2015 02:55PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott 4 31 Jan 15, 2015 07:58PM  
Classics? 6 66 Dec 22, 2014 05:52AM  
Books2Movies Club: EPICS 03.0 - Ivanhoe -- Introduction 4 8 Nov 05, 2014 12:08PM  
Books2Movies Club: EPICS 03.3 – Ivanhoe – Part Three (Chapters 35-44) 1 4 Nov 02, 2014 08:41AM  
Books2Movies Club: EPICS 03.2 – Ivanhoe – Part Two (Chapters 18-34) 1 2 Nov 02, 2014 08:35AM  
  • The Black Arrow
  • The White Company
  • Vicomte de Bragelonne (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3.1)
  • Les Misérables
  • The Deerslayer (The Leatherstocking Tales, #1)
  • The Elusive Pimpernel
  • Kim
  • Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
  • Men of Iron
  • Scaramouche
  • Idylls of the King
  • Quo Vadis
  • The Prisoner of Zenda
  • Marius the Epicurean
  • Martin Chuzzlewit
  • Castle Rackrent
  • Phineas Redux
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

Share This Book

47 trivia questions
3 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“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.” 69 likes
“We are like the herb which flourisheth most when trampled upon” 40 likes
More quotes…