Ivanhoe Summary

The book “Ivanhoe” depicts the thrilling story of the great warrior of England, Ivanhoe, son of Cedric, the Saxon ruler. The story depicts how King Richard and Ivanhoe return from the Crusades and take back England by killing the intruders and saving the good-hearted people.

During the rule of King Richard I, England falls in turmoil when the rulers of Germany and Austria capture it. The whole nation puts forth Prince John as a face for the ruler position although the power rests in the hand of the nobles. They exploit the nation to their will. The nation is split in two. The Normans and the Saxons grow enmity as many Saxons are turned into serfs. The whole nation soon talks in native French and the Anglo-Saxon language. In a nearby forest, a swineherd named Gurth talks about the raging turmoil with Wanda, a clown. They both work for a Saxon lord Cedric whose son Ivanhoe went to fight for the Crusades. Soon, a storm wages and ten horsemen, led by Brian de Bois-Guilbert and Prior Aymer, approach them. They visit Cedric’s court for feast.

Cedric’s porter, Oswald, comes with the news of a Jew stranger who is asking for shelter in Cedric’s court. Although the Norman Knights show disgust, the Jew is let in and seated for the feast with Wamba, the jester. Soon, the topic of Crusades is brought up and the Templar declares that the English troops are second to the Saracens. The palmer disagrees to this and opines the English to be the greatest. He also concludes King Richard to be the greatest and Ivanhoe, the sixth greatest. Brian de Bois-Guilbert claims to kill him unarmed. The palmer assures that the testing would take place if Ivanhoe returns. The Templar Knights travel for a jousting competition and Isaac is headed the same way. The palmer warns him of being robbed and gets an armour and horse. Isaac is rebuked for sitting with the prominent and the palmer defeats everyone.

Prince John and Waldemar Fitzurse try to find the identity of the Uninherited Knight, who is the palmer. They fail to find his identity either way. Soon, the knight is asked to choose his queen of love to which he responds to with Rowena’s name, a Saxon. He even declines coming to the banquet held in celebration of the first day of the tournament, hosted by Prince John himself. He is given ransom of the armor, horse and a handsome amount of money. He even returns money to Isaac who had loaned him the armor and horse through Gurth. Rebecca intervenes and pays a small amount to Gurth for bringing the money. Soon, Gurth finds himself daydreaming amidst a band of robbers. Gurth buys his escape by fighting Miller. The next day, the palmer wins again and turns out to be Ivanhoe.

This wreaks havoc between the prince and his board of nobles. He tries to find a way to manage Ivanhoe after his resurface since his castle had been given away to Sir Reginald Front-de-Boeuf. As a solution to this, Waldemar Fitzurse and Maurice de Bracy propose that Sir Reginald Front-de-Boeuf leave the castle. Prince John considers killing Ivanhoe by using the physician to kill him while treating his wounds but it turns out that Ivanhoe’s friends have already tended to his wounds. Soon, an alarming message compels Prince John to prepare for King Richard’s return while Waldemar Firzurse starts plotting. The next day, an archery contest takes pace and Locksley wins. Prince John sits with the best men for a feast at Ashby Castle. Meanwhile, de Bracy plans on kidnapping Rowena on her way home from Ashby. The Black Knight drinks with a hermit.

Cedric hates Ivanhoe for assisting King Richard during the Crusades but he is still worried about his injuries. During his enquiries about Ivanhoe, he comes to know that Gurth secretly serves his son, Ivanhoe and thus, he puts him in captivity. Gurth escapes and meets Wamba to inform him that he would never serve Cedric ever again. Meanwhile, Isaac and Rebecca walk through a forest with an old man while the Saxons try to find them. Rowena agrees to take Rebecca with them for safety measures. Soon after, de Bracy ambushes them and kidnaps the whole group except for Wamba, who takes help from Locksley who, in turn, resorts to the friar. The friar is found drinking with the Black Knight and they all agree to help. Just when they are being charged for payment or risk being taken to Torquilstone for torture, the castle is intruded.

Isaac is still being threatened to be killed if he does not produce silver in return while Rowena is kept in another dungeon where she is asked for her hand in marriage by Maurice de Bracy. If she does not comply, he would kill Cedric and Ivanhoe. She begins to weep and this melts de Bracy’s heart. Soon, he responds to the castle invasion. In another dungeon, Brian de Bois-Guilbert is harassing Rebecca. Soon, she moves near a high turret and threatens to leap if he comes any close. Just when he tries to console her, they hear the sound of the invasion. The bugle was due to a letter that demands the freedom of the prisoner by any means. Wamba sneaks in as a priest and changes dresses with Cedric. Cedric approaches and hurls the gold coins given to Front de Boeuf.

Ivanhoe was badly wounded by the battle in the tournament. Rebecca and Isaac planned to treat him, promising to bring him back to his health within eight days. They disguised him as an old man so he can stay with them. Thus, he ended up in Torquilstone. In the dungeon, Rebecca still tends to Ivanhoe. She looks outside and describes the situation of the battle to Ivanhoe, commenting on how the knights’ demise is occurring. Ivanhoe weakly revolts to her remark about knighthood and Rebecca can barely resist her love for him. In combat, Front de Boeuf is injured due to a fatal wound and Ulrica sets the castle on fire. The Black Knight catches de Bracy and goes in to save Ivanhoe. Everybody escapes. De Bois Guilbert takes Rebecca but Ulrica and Front de Boeuf die in the flames.

The group of Saxons and the life-saving bandits retreat to Locksley’s area in the forest. Cedric grants Gurth his freedom out of gratitude. The spoils are split in equal proportions; the Black Knight takes his fair share and frees de Bracy. Cedric refuses his share. The Friar, the Black Knight and Prior Aymer argue about ransom payment for Prior and Isaac. He soon comes to know of Rebecca’s abduction. The Locksley’s men bid farewell to the Saxons while they march to give Athelstane’s body back to his castle. De Bracy informs everyone about the death of Front De Boeuf and also that De Bois Guilbert has kidnapped Rebecca. He is alarmed but would rather stay silent than give up his throne to the rightful king. Isaac arrives at Templestowe to save Rebecca where she has been tied up so she can be falsely punished for witchcraft.

Rebecca’s trials begin and charges against her are read out. Soon, it is claimed that she has supernatural healing powers and a person even reports seeing her appear on the parapet during the battle at Torquilstone. De Bois-Guilbert gives her a chance to win her freedom by putting forth a knight to combat her. She gives the news to Isaac who suggests eloping with him instead. Malvoisin is disgusted by Guilbert’s love for a Jewess and warns him to not waver in his path as a Templar. Meanwhile, the Black Knight and Wamba travel through a forest when arrows suddenly attack them. Ivanhoe, heavily wounded, is still healing at St. Botolph’s priory. He soon heads out with the prior’s own horse. The Black Knight and Wamba manage to kill the men at arms led by Waldemar Fitzurse. The Black Knight turns out to be King Richard who declares England to be free.

Afterwards, two men, apparently Ivanhoe and Gurth, appear from the woods and meet Richard. Richard reveals his identity. Ivanhoe criticizes him for his silly adventures but Richard rebuttals him by stating that his identity still needs to be kept hidden till his forces return. They take shelter at Robin Hood’s camp and hurry to Athelstane’s funeral. There, Athelstane is revealed to be still alive but in a comatose state after suffering from a blow to his head. He suggests giving Rowena to Ivanhoe since he deserves her more than Athelstane does. Just then, both Richard and Ivanhoe appear. Ivanhoe rushes to save Rebecca from her trails by defeating De Bois Guilbert. After the first joust, Ivanhoe falls but Guilbert is killed. Ivanhoe marries Rowena and Rebecca plans to move to Granada. Unfortunately, Ivanhoe dies in Limoges during a battle and since then, King Richard’s conquests were never the same like it had been with Ivanhoe by his side.