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Ivanhoe
Cover of Ivanhoe
Ivanhoe

Set in England during Richard I's reign, Sir Walter Scott's fanciful, vivid reinterpretation of medieval life is a successful blend of fact, myth, and romance.

Upon returning from the Crusades, where he served with King Richard I, Wilfred of Ivanhoe is met with his father's disapproval, having fallen in love with Rowena, his father's ward. When his father disinherits him, Ivanhoe gets caught up in the power struggle between the king and his brother, Prince John, who is attempting to usurp the throne. Against the backdrop of a tournament of the Knights Templar, a series of adventures takes place. Ivanhoe catches the eye of Rebecca, a beautiful and courageous Jewess; he is taken prisoner, along with his father and hers, and Rowena as well; then they must rely upon one Locksley (Robin Hood) and his band of outlaws to set them free. When Rebecca is subsequently charged with witchcraft, she asks Ivanhoe to champion her in a trial by combat—but have his affections shifted, or does he still love Rowena?

Set in England during Richard I's reign, Sir Walter Scott's fanciful, vivid reinterpretation of medieval life is a successful blend of fact, myth, and romance.

Upon returning from the Crusades, where he served with King Richard I, Wilfred of Ivanhoe is met with his father's disapproval, having fallen in love with Rowena, his father's ward. When his father disinherits him, Ivanhoe gets caught up in the power struggle between the king and his brother, Prince John, who is attempting to usurp the throne. Against the backdrop of a tournament of the Knights Templar, a series of adventures takes place. Ivanhoe catches the eye of Rebecca, a beautiful and courageous Jewess; he is taken prisoner, along with his father and hers, and Rowena as well; then they must rely upon one Locksley (Robin Hood) and his band of outlaws to set them free. When Rebecca is subsequently charged with witchcraft, she asks Ivanhoe to champion her in a trial by combat—but have his affections shifted, or does he still love Rowena?

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About the Author-
  • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was a poet, a playwright, and one of the greatest historical novelists who ever lived. Writing mostly about his native Scotland, Scott wrote a total of twenty-seven historical novels, the best known of which are Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverly, The Heart of Midlothian, and The Bride of Lammermoor.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were the Karloff and Lugosi of the British horror film revival of the '60s. Cushing went on to better things, but Lee's breakout never quite. . .broke out. Here, narrating an abridged version of Scott's classic chivalric romance, he demonstrates one possible reason. Despite his sonorous voice, elegant accent, and spot-on characterizations, he never fully engages with the material or the listener. The abridger could have helped him also by less drastically emasculating the derring-do. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine A reader familiar with this famous romance could well wonder why in heck the gallant knight Wilfred of Ivanhoe prefers the bland Saxon Rowena to the beautiful, passionate, intelligent, and courageous Jewess, Rebecca. Maybe it's peer pressure from his pals Robin Hood and Richard Lionheart. Maybe it's a preference for blondes. At any rate, this abridgment throws no light on the matter, for much of Sir Walter's character development has disappeared. Narrator Jonathan Oliver expertly gives the dramatis personae as much life as the truncated text allows. Most of the derring-do remains, however, which Oliver also makes the most of. Perhaps because he is a bit too measured, as well as melodramatic, the chivalric doings at times seem silly and the dialogue more pretentious than eloquent. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
  • Victor Hugo "The real epic of our age."
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