Historical Fiction

Books like Ivanhoe


2000, Walter Scott


Ivanhoe: A Romance () by Walter Scott is a historical novel published in three volumes, in 1819, as one of the Waverley novels. Set in England in the Middle Ages, this novel marked a shift away from Scott’s prior practice of setting stories in Scotland and in the more recent past. Ivanhoe became one of Scott’s best-known and most influential novels.

Set in 12th-century England, with colourful descriptions of a tournament, outlaws, a witch trial, and divisions between Jews and Christians, Normans and Saxons, Ivanhoe was credited by many, including Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin, with inspiring increased interest in chivalric romance and medievalism. As John Henry Newman put it, Scott "had first turned men's minds in the direction of the Middle Ages". Ivanhoe was also credited with influencing contemporary popular perceptions of historical figures such as Richard the Lionheart, King John, and Robin Hood.

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