A Summary and Analysis of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 novel set in late twelfth-century England, has a claim to being the most influential novel of the entire nineteenth century. It was hugely popular, and remains so, with such figures as Tony Blair and Ho Chi Minh both declaring it their favourite novel. Why has Ivanhoe endured, and why did Scott write it? Before we move to an analysis of the novel, it might be worth recapping the plot.

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Five Fascinating Facts about Sir Walter Scott

Five fun facts about the life and work of Scottish author Sir Walter Scott

1. The word ‘glamour’ is first found in his work. ‘Glamour’ is a Scottish corruption of ‘grammar’ (‘corruption’ is the linguistic term for when one word morphs into another), and was introduced into English literature by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). Scott also coined the rather good phrase ‘book-bosomed’, denoting one who carries a book at all times.

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