- Paperback: 582 pages
- Publisher: BiblioBazaar; large type edition edition (13 Mar. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1426453213
- ISBN-13: 978-1426453212
- Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 3.4 x 24.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,840,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ivanhoe Paperback – Large Print, 13 Mar 2007
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About the Author
Walter Scott (1771-1832) was an extremely influential novelist, establishing the form of the historical novel and the short story. He wrote both dramas and novels, including The Antiquary and The Tale of Old Mortality. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, one day I managed to get past the first twenty pages or so, and once I had done so I found myself hooked into this tale of Saxon versus Norman, heroes, battles and castles under siege...
Ivanhoe has been banished from the family home after falling for his father's ward, the Saxon princess Rowena. Ivanhoe's father has plans for Rowena to marry another man, Athelstane, in order to unite the Saxon people and, he hopes, help to make them a force to be reckoned with - capable of taking on the Normans. As the novel begins, Ivanhoe has returned, in disguise, to his homeland, hoping to somehow win Rowena as his bride...
What follows is a genuinely enjoyable story. "Ivanhoe" certainly is not the boring book it is sometimes suggested to be - yep, it was surprising to me, too! There is a tremendous amount of action involved in a fast-moving plot, and the characters - of both sexes, and from all backgrounds, are exceptionally well-drawn. The most prominent woman in the novel, Rebecca, despite being a female character in an historical novel, doesn't just sit around waiting to be rescued etc! - she is strong and intelligent and also very likeable.
"Ivanhoe" is notable as one of the first books written in the English language to deal with the issue of racism and it is very sensitively handled here. The book is also a cracking good read, a novel which surprised me - not only with its scope and depth, but also by how much I enjoyed it once I had given it a chance. I really got caught up in the story and the writing, against my expectations, and for me, it is a 5-star book - entertaining and a true classic.
There's more to this tale than just the Saxon/Norman power struggle. Scott paints a picture of racial disharmony with one much maligned people, in particular, receiving rough treatment at the hands of both Saxons and Normans. Even so, Rebecca, a Jewish woman emerges as a heroine - a strong willed, virtuous woman at a time when both her sex and her race were in a vulnerable position. She was accused of witchcraft on the flimsiest of pretexts and her guilt or innocence was not to be decided on anything to do with evidence. It was an age of unbridled prejudice. Scott is critical of the superstition, cruelty and hypocrisy.
So this is not just a romance. It's mainly a tale of politics, religion and derring-do. Scott's writing is witty and the story is engaging. It's a thoroughly enjoyable book. I recommend it.
Having said all this it still, nevertheless, remains a ripping yarn, basically, of the return of the `prodigal' son or son's stripe, if we include Richard sneaking home through the back door to escape the notice of his clearly nasty younger brother, John with his equally repellent and sycophantic flunkies. The eponymous `hero' doesn't really make his own appearance till a significant way through the narrative and, when he does, we find him a somewhat proud, vainglorious, patronizing but probably, good looking chap who handles a lance and sword well.
It is the women, Rebecca, Rowena and Edith (Athelstane's mom) who come out of all of this with their integrity intact. Of the men, only the fool, Wamba and the serf, Gurth, have any truly noble qualities despite playing distinctly second rate roles in comparison to the kings, knights and unjustly accused outlaw chiefs they risk their lives to aid.
For those who don't mind breaking into the narrative there is a wealth of notes that give richness and clarity to Scott's (only) occasionally mildly baffling prose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can one say? Ivanhoe is a classic historical novel. Indeed the author, Sir Walter Scott, is credited with creating the historical novel and reading this (again) makes you... Read morePublished 28 days ago by R. L.
After coming back to Scott's minor classic after around twenty five years, I must say that I was disappointed. Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2012 by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
Walter Scott is a much neglected writer who has fallen out of fashion, and I read this novel with little knowledge of Scott and no preconceptions about his writing. Read morePublished on 1 April 2009 by Mostly Harmless
During the early 19th century in Great Britain, the Scottish historian Walter Scott wrote this fascinating romance novel of his time. Read morePublished on 20 Nov. 2007 by ZSky
This book is quite simply a good story. The prose is not outstanding, but is simple and elegant and fit for the job allowing for the story to carry you away to a world of Richard... Read morePublished on 15 Oct. 2002 by scjackson3
This book shows the talent scott had in his day. The descriptive prose flows well throughout the book, although in some parts you may loose track of where the story is taking you. Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2002