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Ivanhoe (Waverley Novels #5)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  65,788 Ratings  ·  1,565 Reviews
Sir Walter Scott's 1819 novel "Ivanhoe" is the story of one of the last remaining Saxon noble families. Set in 1194, after the end of the Third Crusade, this historical work of fiction is the story of Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who has fallen out of favor with his father due to his allegiance to the Norman king Richard I of England and due to his courting of Lady Rowena. One of S ...more
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Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (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.

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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.
May 18, 2010 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 17, 2014 Werner rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
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
Jan 23, 2010 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
This book took me a while to read, which is rare for me, so yea.
May 11, 2007 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 27, 2007 Randyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 19, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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؛ 1117سم.، 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:
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
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
Douglas Wilson
Feb 21, 2016 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 08, 2010 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".

Sep 17, 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
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.
Jun 01, 2016 Fede rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lately it seems that I am not able to read a book in less than 20 days. That's unusual for me, because it is usually something that happens when I am not enjoying a book. On the contrary, I really liked Ivanhoe.

It was different from what I expected. Honestly, I thought that it would have been rambling and a bit boring, because usually I do not really trust lengthy classics (even though I am not "afraid" of reading them): I know, it sounds stereotyped, but that's it.
I am happy I was proven wrong:
Jan 19, 2016 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
Mar 05, 2009 Kelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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
Abigail Hartman
Good points: a) Scott does end up admitting that Richard Lionheart spent most of his time fighting and thus wasn't actually a great king, despite being one of the heroic figures in Ivanhoe; b) Rebecca has fantastic lines and, in an odd way, is a better character than Scott's writing can do justice to; c) Wamba is great fun. Unfortunately, in most other areas Ivanhoe didn't win any awards from me. Granted, this is mostly owing to my dislike of the Gothic novel and of very stark depictions of the ...more
Nov 03, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2012 Jasmin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Re-read in March 2016.

Ivanhoe will always be one of my favorites. It's a story of chivalry and honor - and not to mention, battles, conspiracies, and a little bit of romance.

It brings forth legendary figures of the medieval era (even Robin Hood himself!). But it also lends the spotlight to those that you wouldn't expect to be involved in a heroic story of that time period: a Jew and his daughter, monks... and of course, a rudely sarcastic, yet lovable court jester. (Wamba seriously deserves his
Jan 11, 2016 Jocelyn added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jocelyn by: Moss Roberts
You know what's weird? I spent three whole weeks getting through this 600-page novel, yet when I finished, I managed to reread half of it in the space of 12 hours. (That is, if going over all my favorite parts out of order counts as rereading.)

So yeah, this was a challenging novel, but it was mostly just me trying to get a grip on Scott's writing style. The beginning was especially difficult, but once the suspense starts to raise with the mysterious identities of the Disinherited and Black Knigh
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
Jun 10, 2008 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  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
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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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