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During the reign of Richard I, Wilfred of Ivanhoe earns his father's disapproval by falling in love with Rowena, his father's ward. His father had planned to wed her himself, and reestablish the Saxon line.
Ivanhoe serves with Richard I during the Crusades, while the King's brother attempts to take the throne for himself in his brother's absence. When Richard I and Ivanhoe return, a series of adventures takes place against the backdrop of a tournament where Knights Templar are entered into contests. Ivanhoe catches the eye of Rebecca, a beautiful and courageous Jew; he is taken prisoner, along with his father and hers, and Rowena as well; and they 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?
Sir Walter Scott's fanciful, vivid reinterpretation of medieval life makes for a successful novel that blends fact, myth, and romance.
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A great classic romance/adventure
This classic epic novel, written in 1819, was one I really enjoyed reading.
The story is set in medieval England. King Richard lies in prison in Europe on his voyage from the Crusades. Meanwhile, the Saxons and Normans are fighting over the remnant of England.
Ivanhoe, a disinherited son of a noble who was also on the Crusades, returns disguised as the Disinherited Knight. Together with the help of a mysterious Black Knight, they fight members of the Knight?s Templars, rescue the fair Rowena, whom Ivanhoe has fallen in love with, and perform other feats of heroism.
This is a great adventure novel: a disinherited knight who is forced to fight several times when the odds are against him in order to win his love. Many characters are featured as well, including Robin Hood and his merry men. Any reader with an interest in chivalry, medieval times, English royal history, or good ol? fight scenes will appreciate this novel.
The book does feature a character worth mentioning: Isaac is an elderly Jewish man, and he has a daughter, Rebecca, who falls in love with Ivanhoe. Though the anti-Semitic rhetoric by some of the villainous characters runs pretty thick at times (this does take place during the Crusades, after all), it?s pretty clear the author despises such treatment. In actuality, Rebecca turns out to be the strongest heroine of the novel.
It is clear why this book is still so popular. It?s a great story, with great heroes (and even better villains). You will really enjoy this book.
Frederick Davidson's voice is perfect for this role. He brings each of the many characters to life distinctly, and his depiction of the villains is especially good. I strongly recommend this recording
22 people found this helpful
A great listen
This was my first audiobook. I was determined to begin listening to all the classics that I never have time to actually read. I searched for the longest book that I could find that seemed interesting and "Ivanhoe" fit the bill.
I was truly impressed by the story. First I had to wait for an hour to get through the introduction and the forward, which didn't bode well for keeping my interest in audiobooks. After this however, the story began and soon I found myself listening at every spare moment.
It is a tale of knights and chivalry. Appearances by King Richard the lionhearted, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, and Prince John, along with Ivanhoe and the two women who loved him, kept me entranced. At times the language was haughty and some words were unfamiliar to me. (It was written in the 1800's after all) But it never took away from my enjoyment of the book, and I never felt lost. There are many exciting scenes, and several suprises that are sure to keep any listener coming back for more. I was sorry when it ended.
The narrator was pleasant to listen to, having a deep english accent that complimented the story well, even when forced to sing.
All in all, an excellent book. The character of the fool, Wamba (If that is how it is spelled), was one of my favorites with many a jolly jest. If you have any interest at all in an exciting, medieval adventure/romance, with damsels in distress and knights in shining armor, then you will love this book.
19 people found this helpful
Larger than life.
It would be easy to fall in with Cervantes and his negative view of chivalric epics. However, not having endured the travails of warfare and imprisonment as a slave, I can more easily appreciate the fancy of the "heroic" authors and their works.
Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott, provides the pageantry and action that you would expect from a great adventure. Knights in battles of honor, castle intrigue, ladies at court, and the outlaws of Sherwood Forest provide a colorful cast of characters for a well-told story.
Yet, Scott didn't attempt to mask the slavery and bigotry incumbent upon the times. Anti-Semitism is prevalent. Indentured servants depend upon the good nature of their masters for survival. This is a story all the better for its exhibition of the coarse customs of the time.
Frederick Davidson does an excellent job with the narration. He expertly creates a different voice for each character. He smoothly switches between narrative and dialogue, maintaining a comfortable pacing throughout this epic story.
11 people found this helpful
The narrator is captivating, and I found this audio book to be one of the most enjoyable I have listened to. Many may have the impression that Ivanhoe is an uninspired children's story, but this Sir Walter Scott novel is rich in detail and plot, and thoroughly intriguing.
8 people found this helpful
Delightfully stilted speech and pomposity
Enter the chivalrous excesses of Merrie England in the days of Robin Hood and Richard the Coeur de Lyon, and the skullduggery of Prince John, through the witty eyes of Sir Walter Scott. Settle in for a long and verbose wandering through Sherwood and environs, amidst smashing of staves and swashbuckling last-second saves. If you don't mind spending the first, oh, what is the audio-equivalent of many pages? in a description of the dress and mein of two merely supporting characters, this may be the story for you.It is hard to "come to" in the 21st century, after this listen.
15 people found this helpful
The narrator added immensely to this story, I suspect. I probably never would have made it through this full book in written form, but the narrator (despite certain irritating inflections) has a way of showing the meaning through his tone, which cuts through the verbosity. The action scenes are great -- in one, Rebecca looking out the window and describing a battle to the bedridden Ivanhoe, and the very vivid description was marvelous. That said, I'd recommend that the listener skip the introductions, one by a scholar and another by the author, which take up about an hour at the beginning. They are dead boring.
11 people found this helpful
- Alan Rither
The definitive version of the tale
While the words of Sir Walter Scott are the same from version to version, the reading of Frederick Davidson (a pseudonym for the late David Frederick Case), is the best in my opinion. This is also my favorite of Scott's novels.
4 people found this helpful
Good Swashbuckling Tale
This is not quite as good as Three Musketeers but slightly better than Scaramouche. All three are in the same genre. All were enjoyable.
This takes the story accross the Channel and to an earlier time. The Normans are enjoyably evil and clever. Galantry is alive and well. The story has many twists and turns.
5 people found this helpful
- R. Blumer
my disbelief was not suspended. The Jewish subplot may have been woke at the time but now is squirm worthy.
1 person found this helpful
- Adam Ray Davis
I enjoyed the story, but it was, at times hard to follow. probably because it was written so long ago. And styles of entertainment have changed. But a good story nonetheless.
1 person found this helpful