Author(s): Sir Walter Scott
It is the dark days of King Richard's reign, when the beloved king is fighting in far-off lands, leaving his corrupt brother John in charge of his kingdom. Tensions between Saxon and Norman lords erupt in bouts of bloodshed or foul play; good men are banished, forced to turn outlaw and serve the true king in secrecy and disguise. In this dangerous world, the brave Wilfred of Ivanhoe must grapple with the claims of family, crown, truth and justice if he is ever to win the hand of his true love, the beautiful Lady Rowena.
Jousts, kidnappings, duels to the death, a mysterious Black Knight and the gallant outlaw Robin of Locksley all add zest to this timeless tale of medieval romance and adventure.
"When Sir Walter Scott, a solicitor by trade, produced Ivanhoe in 1791, he invented the historical novel. This great romantic tale of peril and rescue, chivalry and pageantry created a genre" Scotsman "It's brilliantly written, the most tremendous story, a fantastic adventure, and it's also got this wonderful love story" -- Tony Blair "I devoured it" -- Sebastian Faulks Independent "[Ivanhoe] entranced people all over Europe, with Goethe declaring that Scott had invented 'a wholly new art'" Daily Telegraph "The central place of Sir Walter Scott and all his works is so deeply ingrained in the Scottish consciousness that there is scarcely an article written about Scotland or Scottishness that does not mention his name" Daily Mail
Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh on 15 August 1777. He was educated in Edinburgh and called to the bar in 1792, succeeding his father as Writer to the Signet, then Clerk of Session. He published anonymous translations of German Romantic poetry from 1797, in which year he also married. In 1805 he published his first major work, a romantic poem called The Lay of the Last Minstrel, became a partner in a printing business, and several other long poems followed, including Marmion (1808) and The Lady of the Lake (1810). These poems found acclaim and great popularity, but from 1814 and the publication of Waverley, Scott turned almost exclusively to novel-writing, albeit anonymously. A hugely prolific period of writing produced over twenty-five novels, including Rob Roy (1817), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), Kenilworth (1821) and Redgauntlet (1824). Already sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire, Scott was created a baronet in 1820. The printing business in which Scott was a partner ran into financial difficulties in 1826, and Scott devoted his energies to work in order to repay the firm's creditors, publishing many more novels, dramatic works, histories and a life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Sir Walter Scott died on 21 September 1832 at Abbotsford, the home he had built on the Scottish Borders.