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(Waverley Novels #5)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  79,234 ratings  ·  2,127 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.

Kumari De Silva There are some odd words, especially ones that describe armor and weapons but I do believe that if you hear the story in context you'll be able to…moreThere are some odd words, especially ones that describe armor and weapons but I do believe that if you hear the story in context you'll be able to understand the story(less)

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3.75  · 
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 ·  79,234 ratings  ·  2,127 reviews

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Bill  Kerwin
Oct 12, 2009 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.
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
Jul 01, 2008 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
930. Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott
Ivanhoe is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, first published in 1820 in three volumes and subtitled A Romance. At the time it was written it represented a shift by Scott away from fairly realistic novels set in Scotland in the comparatively recent past, to a somewhat fanciful depiction of medieval England. It has proved to be one of the best known and most influential of Scott's novels.
Ivanhoe is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a tim
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
Helene Jeppesen
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
Feb 02, 2017 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
Mar 05, 2008 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
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 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
Luís C.
Medieval memory, great memory; childhood memory, intense memory!
That it is far from the time when during the summer holidays at my grandparents, I ironed tirelessly this illustrated novel on what constituted, without my knowing it, the archetype of the romantic hero!
Chivalrous cheats, tournament atmospheres and allure for the Middle Ages: everything immediately charmed me in Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. It is true that with time, many details and characters go by the ways, like the young Rebecca or t
Ashwood (애쉬 우드).
This book took me a while to read, which is rare for me, so yea.
Aug 23, 2009 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
Mar 15, 2015 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
Apr 29, 2011 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
Oct 27, 2007 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
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
Julie Davis
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Yes, I know I just listened to this book. But I figure if Harriet Beecher Stowe could read Ivanhoe seven times in one month, then I can reread it right away. Am enjoying it immensely - again!


I'm reading this for my book club (the adult equivalent of a high school reading assignment when it is for a book you've managed to avoid for years).

Consequently I listened to B.J. Harrison's excellent narration to help me get into the book. And it worked. I initially enjoyed it it on the level of
May 11, 2007 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
Sotiris Karaiskos
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 ...more
Sep 30, 2016 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
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This. 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. :)
Brianna Silva
Well, that was fun. ^_^
Paula W
Jan 25, 2017 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
Mar 01, 2009 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
Douglas Wilson
Feb 21, 2016 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.
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. In fact, the villains of the book were more interesting than the nominal hero.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this ages ago. But at the time I was absolutely entranced by this novel. It has knights and rogues, romance and adventure, Templars (they are evil here) and Robin Hood crew. Yes, the plot is a bit naive and characters are black & white. But this is a charming novel with lots of heart to it. If you are 12 - beg, borrow or steal yourself a copy (but try begging and borrowing first).
Aug 13, 2008 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
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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

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
  • The Fortunes of Nigel
  • Peveril of the Peak
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