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Ivanhoe (Tor Ed.) School & Library Binding – September 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0613279086 ISBN-10: 0613279085

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Product Details

  • School & Library Binding
  • Publisher: Topeka Bindery (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613279085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613279086
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,582,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Octavius on April 27, 2005
In response to the horrible review preceding my own, I feel that a proper review of Sir Walter Scott's 'Ivanhoe', one of the greatest Western novels ever written, is in order as an artist's contribution to the world is measured by his art and not how he lived his life: even artists with maniacal and criminal tendencies such as Richard Wagner or Hector Berlioz were deemed great because of their work and not the wretched lives they led. If one is to follow the previous reviewer's logic then we may as well discount Coolidge, Poe, Baudelaire, Fitzgerald, or Hemingway as literary figures as they all had pretty pathetic lives in one way or another.

The story is set in 12th century England under the rule of Richard The Lion Hearted who spent most of his reign in the Holy Land fighting the Third Crusade. In his absence ruled his brother Prince John whose licentious habits made him unpopular amongst his disenfranchized Saxon subjects. Saxon England had been recently subjugated by the Normans under William The Conqueror of whom Richard and John were his royal descendants. The Normans had low opinions as to their Saxon subjects and imposed their French culture and laws upon them with impunity. Ivanhoe is the champion Saxon knight of an imprisoned Richard The Lion Hearted and is seen as the cause of his King's woes by everyone in England including Cedric, his father, who disinherits him. Returning anonymously to England, Ivanhoe must prove his valor and clear his name before being joined with his promised love, Rowena, who has been betrothed to Lord Athelstane during his absence. In alliance with Prince John against Ivanhoe are the Templar knights whose champion, Sir Brian De Bois-Guilbert, knows the truth of Ivanhoe's innocence but is bound to keep it a secret.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CKE TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 9, 2006
Depending on your tastes Ivanhoe could either be considered a favorite or despised. Make no mistake - for today's average reader "Ivanhoe" is an extremely difficult read. The language was considerd archaic 200 years ago. Also, the reader must have a fair amount of knowledge about the Middle Ages - if you have never heard of the battle of Hasting or why it is significant... this is defintely not the book for you!

Personally, I found "Ivanhoe" to be both enjoyable and enlightening. While I do realize that Sir Walter Scott did make some historical errors - I found his despriction of "the Lists" to be informative.

The quality of the plot for "Ivanhoe" can not be questioned. It has all of the elements for a great read... deceipt, honour, a love triangle, prejuidices, castle sieges and battles to death! Scott's mastery of detail (sometimes a little TOO mastered) engulfs you into the world of the 12th century.

I especially enjoyed the involvement of Robin Hood, Richard The Lionheart and Prince John as main characters. Their historical involvement really helped to hold my interest.

The treatment of Jews is an interesting development throughout "Ivanhoe". Despite all the characters treating people of the jewish faith as sub-human "Ivanhoes" the last three pages show the prejuidices can be overcome and people of different faiths should learn tolerance. This is suprising stuff for the perion in which Sir Walter Scott penned it!

I found "Ivanhoe" to be very enjoyable - and at times a page-turner. The difficulty of the language was a challenge at times (and I am sure their are few plot points that I did miss), but as a whole I would suggest it to all readers who enjoy a bit of a challenge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Patrick Killough on March 16, 2007
The plot of IVANHOE is probably as well known to many American readers as some books of the Bible. Taking the plot for granted, therefore, what else is worth thinking about?

Walter Scott added two elements to the novel form in literature: (1) historical realism or quasi-realism and (2) political reality.

(1) The historical reality of the 1190s and the troubled reign of King Richard the Lion-Heart and his brother Prince John of Anjou is that it was a horrible time to be Jewish in England. Jews were burned, despised and paid huge tribute to rapacious rulers from their treasure. Who captures this social fact better than Scott in IVANHOE? Does even one "Nazarene" treat a Jew even once as unselfishly and uncritically as did the Good Samaritan in Jesus's parable? No, not one. Rowena comes closest but is jealous of the fair Rebecca. Ivanhoe and the villainous templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert love Rebecca. But Bois-Guilbert will not even have her as his mistress if she refuses baptism. And even in Thackeray's spoof of IVANHOE -- REBECCA AND ROWENA -- Ivanhoe himself can only marry Rebecca after she becomes Christian. This novel is the most unsparing criticism of anti-semitism in England before George Eliot's DANIEL DERONDA. Its explicit preaching against hatred of Jews is light but the descriptions, the debates between Rebecca and Bois-Guilbert, the actions make denunciation unnecessary.

(2) IVANHOE is also a political novel. Prince John wants to elevate himself from Regent to King and is preparing to go to York where a coalition of bribed nobles is to depose his older brother Richard I and name John as replacement. Prince John seems to hold all the high cards.

King Richard is presumed to be still a prisoner in Austria.
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