Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott is one of the most famous historical fiction books in the modern era. This 544 paged book has inspired many teens who are interested to know about the events that took place in England in the twelfth century. Sir Walter Scott wrote this book in 1819 to focus on the local history of Scotland.
Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish novelist, playwright and a famous poet in the nineteenth century. This book was considered as a romance novel by several critics and concluded that it is a treat for young teenage boys. Ivanhoe had an accurate depiction of what happened in England in the twelfth century which is why it was one of the best novels written in the 1800s.
The Main Characters of this book are Cedric, Ivanhoe, Athelstane, Rowena, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, Front-de-Boeuf, Richard Plantagenet, John Plantagenet, Waldemar Fitzurse, Isaac, Rebecca, and Maurice De Bracy. Cedric is a Saxon nobleman, who is the father of the hero, Ivanhoe. He wants to restore the Saxon empire in England and hates his rivals, The Normans. Ivanhoe is the son of Cedric. His actual name is Wilfred and is called Ivanhoe because he had a great manor that was named Ivanhoe.
He follows Richard I because he is a Crusader. Athelstane is the lord of Coingsburgh. He belongs to the Saxon nobility and is Cedric’s last hope for restoring the Saxon Empire. Front-de-Boeuf is a Norman who is the owner of Torquilstone Castle. Richard Plantagenet is the King of England at the time of when this story takes place. He was kidnapped on his way back from the Crusades. John Plantagenet is Richard I’s brother.
He wants to prevent his brother from coming back to England in order to attain power and rule England. Waldemar Fitzurse is John’s advisor who is a man who thinks wisely about him taking power of England by overcoming the Plantagenet brothers. Isaac is a Jewish moneylender in New York who is rich, but is hated very much by the Saxons and the Normans. Rebecca is a beautiful young Jewish girl who is the daughter of Isaac. She is generous and kind-hearted. Maurice De Bracy is a knight who is attached to Prince John’s dubious court. All these characters play an important role in this story and this is the main reason why they are the main characters in this amazing story.
Ivanhoe is the tale of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the English nobility was overwhelmingly Norman. Ivanhoe, the protagonist, is out of any help that his father can do because of the support he shows to the Norman king, Richard I of England. The story is set in 1194. King Richard, who had been captured by the Duke of Austria on his way back, was believed to still be in the arms of his captors. Meanwhile, back in England, Richard I’s brother, Prince John, is now in charge of ruling the Norman Empire. This turns out to be horrible move for the Saxons as the Normans start bullying them. Times are getting worse for the Saxons. When all this is happening, Ivanhoe has fallen in love with Rowena, the girl that was chosen by Cedric the Saxon to become the wife of Athelstane. This type of an alliance would produce a powerful Saxon to claim the English throne.
At a tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouche, Ivanhoe turns up in disguise as the Disinherited Knight. With the help of the mysterious Black Knight, he wins the tournament on both days. He crowns Rowena his Queen of beauty and love as a result of his victory. The events that take place after this form the most interesting part of the story. The novel ends with Ivanhoe marrying Rowena. The Black Knight is actually Richard, King of England. Cedric the Saxon finally gives up all his enmity and becomes loyal to Richard I and is ready to bear any torture that is done by the Normans. The main themes of this story that is useful to any society are family, justice and judgement, duty and the different classes of the society.
Overall this book is a must read for anyone who like romance, action and a bit of thriller. This book will never bore anyone and will maintain the pace that it promises from start to finish. Sir Scott has come up with a great story that has good themes and covers a couple of social issues that were common in England at that time. Ivanhoe has an interesting plot that would make the reader predict a few events that could happen later in the story. This story has been able to reach people with its message and has changed people’s views about the different classes in the society of England in the twelfth century.