Sir Walter Scott's gloriously panoramic novel, Ivanhoe, a knight disinherited by his fiercely Saxon father for allying himself with the Norman Richard, is just one of many characters in a cast that includes the famous Robin of Locksley, Prince John, the fair Lady Rowena, Wamba the jester, Gurth the swineherd, and Rebecca, the beautiful healer.
The gripping narrative is structured by a series of conflicts: Saxon versus Norman, Christian versus Jew, men versus women, played out against Scott's unflinching moral realism.
Ivanhoe was Walter Scott’s most popular novel, perhaps because, set in mediaeval England, there was no Scots dialect to puzzle English readers.
It entranced people all over the world, with Goethe declaring that Scott had invented “a wholly new art form”.
Perhaps the finest and certainly the most readable of Scott's novels, Ivanhoe is a swift-moving historical romance that pits a classical hero against the forces of fanaticism in the period known as "the killing time."
SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771 – 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet remembered for his extensive literary works and his political engagement. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.