Ivanhoe. Walter Scott

Ivanhoe. Walter Scott

Scott wrote Ivanhoe in 1819 and published it the same year under the pseudonym Waverley. The book is one of the earliest and best-known historical novels and a classic of adventure literature. The action of the work takes place in 12th century England after the Third Crusade, during the reign of Richard I.

Main characters

  • Wilfred Ivanhoe is the protagonist of the novel, a young knight of 25, son of Cedric Saxe; driven from home by his father and disinherited.
  • Brien de Boisagilber is a valiant knight of the Norman temple over forty years old who came from Palestine.
  • Black Lazybones – King Richard I the Lionheart.
  • Cedric of Rotherwood (Cedric the Saxon) – Ivanhoe’s father, a Saxon Thane.
  • Rebecca – Jewess, daughter of Isaac, who helped heal Ivanhoe’s wound.
  • Isaac of York – wealthy Jew, moneylender, father of Rebecca.

Other characters

  • Lady Rowena – the beautiful ward of Cedric Saxe, descendant of King Alfred the Great; lover of Ivanhoe.
  • Gurth – a pig farmer, slave of Cedric.
  • Wamba – jester, slave of Cedric,
  • Aymer – Franciscan monk, prior of the abbey of Jorvo.
  • Athelstan of Coningsburg – Saxon, descendant of King Alfred the Great.
  • John – Crown Prince, brother of Richard.
  • Locksley – Yeoman, archer, Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, “king of the outlaws”.
  • The Prelate of Copmenhurst – a robber monk, known to the ballads as Brother Tuck.
  • Ulrica (Urfrida) – daughter of the Thane of Torquilston, prisoner of Fron de Beef.
  • Maurice de Bracy is a Johannite knight.
  • Reginald Fron de Beef – knight, Norman baron.
  • Philippe Malvoisin – knight, baron.
  • Luca Beaumanoir – Grand Master of the Order of the Templars (fictional person).

What is the result?

  • Wilfred Ivanhoe – wins the tournament, marries Rowena, lives happily with her and serves under Richard.
  • Brien of Boisgilbert – dies during a battle with Ivanhoe, unharmed, dying “a victim of his own unbridled passions”.
  • Cedric of Rotherwood – at King Richard’s request, pardons his son.
  • Rebecca – declared free and innocent, leaves England with her father.
  • Isaac of York – leaves England with his daughter.
  • Lady Rowena – becomes the wife of Wilfred Ivanhoe.
  • Athelstan of Coningsburg – refuses to fight for Rowena, “ceding” her to Wilfred.
  • Locksley – reveals the truth about himself that he is Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest.


In the novel Ivanhoe, Walter Scott addresses the political, national and religious problems of medieval England. The protagonist of the work, the knight Ivanhoe, who is portrayed by the author as brave, honest and just, is set against the vicious Templar Brien de Boisagilbert. Moreover, Wilfred, as Cedric’s son and Richard’s knight, is the bearer of the idea of the unity of the country in the novel.

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