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Ivanhoe (Signet Classic)

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Walter Scott

Grade 9 Up--This is an excellent abridgment of the classic by Sir Walter Scott. The story line is very smooth and easy to follow. David Warner's reading is perfect. His British accent is easy to understand and adds to the telling of the story. Music … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Walter Scott
Publisher: Signet Classics
1 review about Ivanhoe (Signet Classic)

The Mother of All Historical Novels!

  • Jul 14, 2000
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this book, by Sir Walter Scott, was the progenitor of what was to become a venerable tradition in English letters (and in other European literatures as well): the historical romance. There have been many after IVANHOE, and frequently with a finer eye to the period in which the tale is set (for IVANHOE contains quite a number of anachronisms -- even Scott acknowledged it), but few have done it quite as well as Scott. He uses an archaic English to give voice to his characters, but one which is readily absorbed because of the speed & quality of the tale. So, though these people certainly wouldn't really have spoken as he has them speaking, they yet sound as though they should have. Peopled by many 'stock' characters and situations, this tale was fresh in its time & still reads well today -- a testament to Scott's skills as a teller of tales and a sketcher of marvelously wrought characters. In this tale of the 'disinherited knight' returning home to find the world he left turned upside down, young Ivanhoe, after a stint with King Richard in the Holy Land, must fight the enemies of his king and kinsmen anew. Yet the hero is oddly sidelined for much of the tale as events swirl around him and the brilliantly evoked villain, Sir Brian de Bois Gilbert, in the pay of Prince John, struggles to win treasure and the beautiful Rebeccah, who yet has eyes only for Ivanhoe, a knight she can never hope to win herself. There's lots of action and coincidences galore here and Robin Hood makes more than a cameo appearance, as does the noble Richard. In sum, this one's great fun, a great tale, and the progenitor of a whole genre. All those which came after owe their form to it. Worth the price and the read.

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