Ivanhoe

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Fiction - 581 pages
In the virulently male world of Ivanhoe, Jews are reviled and persecuted; women are at best political pawns and at worst the victims of rape or misogyny; the weak are subject to the relentless oppression of the master race, the Norman rulers of England; and violence is endemic. And yet there are suggestions of a better world: in the sisterhood of Jewess and Saxon princess, in the redistributive justice of Robin Hood and his band of outlaws, and in the determined attempt of the hero to effect political reconciliation between Saxons and Normans. Although set in 1194, after the return of Richard I of England from the Third Crusade, and although first published in 1820, Ivanhoe has a political modernity which makes it the most remarkable of all Scott's novels. It is also a superb and exciting tale, which culminates in the show trial of Rebecca the Jewess on a charge of sorcery. The text is based on the first edition and is emended by readings from Scott's manuscript and proof-corrections which were lost in the original process of preparing the novel for publication.

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User Review  - Chris_El - LibraryThing

Gurth and Wamba son of Witless. How can one forget adventures with characters like these. Add in a few damsels in distress, saving England from a tyrant, knights that will not compromise right, and some cool jousting make this a rousing and fun medieval tale. Read full review

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User Review  - Eyejaybee - LibraryThing

Sir Walter Scott is credited with having invented the historical novel, and his Waverley series of books were the first critical and commercially successful stories to feature fictional characters ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)


Ian Duncan is Associate Professor of English at Yale University.

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