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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (35,164 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter Scott Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9781455174843
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Walter Scott is out and away the king of the romantics.”

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • “The real epic of our age.”

    Victor Hugo 

  • “A work of enduring value.”

    Masterpieces of World Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mate | 2/20/2014

    " Well, first of all, I should say that I love historical fiction, especially when the plot happens in the middle ages, as it does in Ivanhoe. My favorite character in the book was William Fitzurse, the backstabbing, intriguing, bastard traitor. The place of the king's chancellor was important at that time and he wanted it badly. I liked the story as well, but the character Ivanhoe wasn't that much interesting to me as some others were. Like, John's peers. As I said in the beginning I love historical fiction, especially when it happens in the middle ages, so it might be the reason why I graded this book with 5 stars in stead of 4. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sam | 2/18/2014

    " I think I would like to give this three and a half stars. I bought this book because Jane Eyre reads it in her story. It certainly brought me closer to her character. The only reason I do not rate this book higher is because it was just so wordy that it was hard to pay attention for very long. As convoluted as it is, the story is beautiful and fun. Being a fan already of medieval legends, I felt it was the "Avengers" of the 19th century. Robin Hood and Richard the Lion-hearted team up with Ivanhoe, a swineherd and a jester to save damsels-in-distress from Prince John's men? Yes please! I particularly loved Rebecca on whose personality I now know Jane Eyre was loosely based on. They are examples of strong yet feminine women that should be known and admired by more modern readers. I have one problem though which I wish I could take up with the original publisher of this book. I learned it was his idea that Athelstane should be resurrected, which makes sense because it was totally stupid. It was Bois-Guilbert who should should have been resurrected if any, he was totally redeemable! <3 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marleah | 2/16/2014

    " Chivalry, romance, adventure, this book has something for everyone! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Faith Justice | 2/15/2014

    " I couldn't remember if I had read this years ago or was remembering the movie. In any case, this was a fun read. The story is exciting with many of our favorite folk heroes - King Richard the Lion-Hearted, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck - shown in their most favorable light. The titular character actually spends a lot of the book flat on his back. What I enjoyed most about the book is the language and style. This first came out in 1820 and the prose style is delightfully archaic. Scott shows deep insight into human psyche, sharply drawing his characters, poking fun at hypocrisy and pomposity, and sympathetically portraying the humanity of the less fortunate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danelley | 2/11/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book! Good ole Medieval times, and it was interesting to read of the class struggle, the Normans (stormin' Normans), invaders coming up from (modern day) France and treating the Anglo-Saxons like second-class citizens, but slowly fusing with their culture. But of course, the third class citizens are the two supporting Jewish characters. Of course, Ivanhoe's "friend" is Robin Hood, but you have to extrapolate more of that out of the story. Damsels in distress, Knights templars, jousting, intrigue, and humor are all woven into this great piece of historical fiction. READ IT TODAY! :) (And Sir Walter Scott is just awesome!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele bookloverforever | 2/8/2014

    " READ FIRST WHEN I WAS 12...then again in high school. exciting story for 12 yr.old. fell in love with rebecca not rowena. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 2/5/2014

    " This was a great story, but I found the language difficult and tedious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Parsons | 1/30/2014

    " First published in 1819, Sir Walter Scotts classic book has all the trappings of a modern day thriller: Royalty, Knights with super-human abilities, damsels in distress, comedy, sex, etc. Even a surprise turn of events in which the heroes turn out to be someone other than they are. And you will recognize them. I won't spoil it further for those of you who have experienced this yet. Well worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb Lavelle | 1/28/2014

    " Great classic...a bit dense, but worth the trouble. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil | 1/25/2014

    " Okay - I enjoyed this, but nowhere near as much as I enjoyed Dumas' Three Musketeers (which was heavily influenced by Walter Scott). Too often the story was just brought to a grinding halt by Scott showing off that he's done some research (everyone's outfits are described from head to foot as though he has a book of historical costume infront of him - he constantly tosses in the odd French word when the Norman's are speaking, merely to show that they're French, but other than that they speak exactly the same as the Saxons - the long long tangent at the end about the current state of Coningsburgh Castle was completely unnecessary). All this just takes you straight out of the storyline: example "(she) remained standing close by one of the embrasures, *or 'machicolles' as they were then called*" - why on EARTH tell me that? Whereas in tales like Waverley and Rob Roy, Scott manges to incorporate his reading in almost seamlessly, here it jars and grates. However, it is a rollicking good plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 1/19/2014

    " It took me a while to get through this book, but so very well worth it. It overlaps the same time period with King Richard (the lion-hearted) and Robin Hood. Ivanhoe has been dis-inherited by his father Cedric. Rowena is betrothed to another, but in love with Ivanhoe. Ivanhoe is critically wounded and nursed by the Jewess, Rebecca, who is also in love with his. Rebecca is accused of witchcraft and is in fear of being burned at the stake. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Casey Harris | 1/18/2014

    " My favorite book. I like to read it every couple of years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christy | 1/12/2014

    " This book got better about 1/2 way through. Before that, the Old English language caused me to not quite understand everything that was going on. It was a decent story, not hugely great but not bad either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 S. | 1/12/2014

    " A well-written, captivating book, no doubt. This book, being the first book I've ever read by Sir Walter Scott, has definitely bettered my opinion of him, even though the book genre isn't necessarily my favourite. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Guilucas | 1/8/2014

    " Great book about medieval era, the knights and the beginning of England as a nation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beowulfwulf | 1/3/2014

    " Middle Ages, chivalry, love and betrayal: all the ingredients are here to make an epic story. Thrilling! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marleah | 12/20/2013

    " Chivalry, romance, adventure, this book has something for everyone! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dale | 12/17/2013

    " In honor of finishing The Count of Monte Cristo, here's another classic novel that I expected to enjoy more than I actually did. It's about a knight! I was 12! I ... wouldn't recommend it for 12 year olds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Wolf | 12/11/2013

    " Walter Scott has got to be the greatest historical novelist ever. He said what others had to research, he already knew by heart. This tale of post-Norman England has everything: a love triangle, noble & scurrilous knights, French vs. Anglo-Saxons. Love the character of Rebecca. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Guilucas | 12/2/2013

    " Great book about medieval era, the knights and the beginning of England as a nation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roberta | 10/24/2013

    " A riveting medieval romance. Never thought I'd find something like this interesting but not even the lengthy sentences and involved language could put me off it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 9/30/2013

    " Wordy like Lord of the Rings...you just have to buy into it and let the words flow beautifully. It also struck me as a version of Game of Thrones (family, rivalry, battle) without all the s-exposition. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 9/4/2013

    " One of my favorite books. Love, chivalry, mystery, knights and ladies. A great story with things to learn along the way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 7/8/2013

    " I had to read this for school. I liked it even though it was a little hard to read. It has lots of Biblical imagery especially the good samaritan and the armor of God. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather McMurray | 6/24/2013

    " I felt that the ending of Ivanhoe was a little weak and contrived compared to the rest of the book; however, that being said, it really is a well-written entertaining book to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jasmine | 5/6/2013

    " This was one of the best books I have ever read, kept me zoned in until the very last word. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt/Sharon | 5/1/2013

    " I didn't know what this book was about, I'd heard the title. I picked up an old copy in Belfast on a whim. This book is action-friken-packed! You think John Grisham is exciting? Try sir Walter out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sho | 4/14/2013

    " One of my favourite novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jade McDonough | 2/9/2013

    " I am a sucker for classics. I'm just kind of weird like that. I liked the kind of alternate view of Robin Hood presented in this. A little too wordy in places, but that's pretty much to be expected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie | 9/17/2012

    " Read only because it was part of the 6th grade curriculum. It is now one of my favorite books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ash | 9/9/2012

    " Perhaps my favorite classic of all time, I of course must recommend this. Somehow, I personally never grow tired of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita Williamson | 9/8/2012

    " My sister absolutely loved this book. I thought it was good but not the best that ever was. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rick | 5/16/2012

    " has to be the most boring book on the face of the earth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah | 3/30/2012

    " Awesome!! I've never read anything quite like Ivanhoe. It might be difficult for some people to read, but I'm used to the King James Version of the Bible, so this was a cinch. =) Definitely a new fave!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula | 2/11/2012

    " One of my all-time favorites. My first "knight-in-shining-armor" story opened the door to a whole new realm of fiction for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 2/4/2012

    " A great adventure yarn, well suited for long trips. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adrian | 1/13/2012

    " They wrote some corny crap back in the olden days, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abigail Rasmussen | 10/20/2011

    " I first read this book when I was 15 years old. I have listened to it a few times since then and could never tire of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Schy | 9/18/2011

    " A classical bedtime story type, Ivanhoe is set during the time of knights in shining armor. While it was almost arduously long and strung out, I came out more satisfied than I'd thought I would at the beginning. Action, with a sprinkle of romance that is adorable in it's own right. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 9/12/2011

    " 2 stars because it was rather dry reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly A. | 5/19/2011

    " There are times I wanted to skip ahead of the description, but I'm glad I didn't.

    The ending wraps up a little too neat for me, but well worth waiting for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shiraz | 5/9/2011

    " This does make me want to go read a more of Scott. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 5/6/2011

    " this is not a light read. But once you get into the literary style it is quite a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 4/20/2011

    " Very exciting. Plenty of swords and romance and lances and intrigue. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 4/8/2011

    " My favorite book of all time. Thanks, Christy for recommending it to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 4/5/2011

    " I would have to say that this book is in my top 5 favorites!!! I LOVED it! The characters: FANTASTIC! Even the villains were great! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 4/5/2011

    " I was surprised to find Robin Hood in this story!! I must admit I didn't know he as a part of this THe language made reading the book a bit challenging. I kept my dictionary close by and found the read enjoyable. Lots of knights in shining armour along with damsels in distress. Good fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dellitt | 3/26/2011

    " It's been a long time since I read this. It's a lovely story, the classic romance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha | 3/10/2011

    " Iconic. THe paintings of N C Wyeth just lept out at me from the words. The story is verbatim the plot of E Flynn's movie of Robin Hood--what a surprise to find it all here! And the treatment of Rebecca, the jewess, and her father--amazing. Excellent read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jade | 3/9/2011

    " I am a sucker for classics. I'm just kind of weird like that. I liked the kind of alternate view of Robin Hood presented in this. A little too wordy in places, but that's pretty much to be expected. "

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About the Author
Author Walter ScottWalter Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771, and attended university there, following his father's footsteps and becoming a barrister. After publishing numerous works of poetry, he wrote his first novel in 1814. With Ivanhoe (1820), Scott moved from the Scottish settings he was known for, to writing about a variety of locales and time periods. He died, nearly penniless, at Abbotsford, Scotland, in 1832.
About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.