Richard the Lionheart has gone to the Crusades for some years. Since his departure Prince John, his brother, has been trying to make profit of his absence to control the country and to be proclaimed as King of England.
Both of them, Richard and John, represent the power of Norman people, who have conquered England after having beaten the Anglo-Saxon, the former inhabitants of the island.
On the other hand, a great deal of Saxon people have declared themselves outlaws and live in the forests of Central England while only a few of them remain in their homes trying to unite their people against The Normans. Between these last ones is ‘Cedric the Saxon’, Ivanhoe’s father, who has disinherited his son because he has accompanied Richard to the Crusades.
The return of Richard and Ivanhoe is going to put an end to Prince John’s power and to the wishes of Cedric the Saxon too. A new era is going to begin between Norman and Saxon people and instead of fighting against each other they finally decide to live together.
Walter Scott wrote this famous novel in 1819 and like most of the Romantic writers from all over Europe, he tried to idealise the origin of their countries, finding the essence of their nations during the Middle Age.
The spirit of Chivalry, the love between Ivanhoe and Lady Rowena, the generosity of Rebbeca, the determination of Cedric the Saxon and the ambition of Prince John helped the author to describe a difficult time where the differences between Norman an Saxon people was going to disappear with the help of Richard and Ivanhoe.
The book is extremely readable and in spite of having been written 200 years ago it continues to be sold an read, not only all over the United Kingdom but in the rest of the world and its plot has served to do a great number of films.