Ivanhoe follows the life of a 12th-century Saxon knight, Ivanhoe, who is disowned by his father after pledging his loyalty to Richard the Lionheart of England. Ivanhoe falls in love with Lady Rowena, a princess, and sets out on a mythic quest to prove his worth. Along the way he encounters a host of legendary characters, including Robin Hood and the Knights Templar. Will the young knight survive to win the heart of Lady Rowena?
Ivanhoe is an epic tale of adventure, love, and bravery against all odds. It is a welcomed addition to Momentum's Classic Romance series.
"Caught at the right age, or in the right mood, it is hard to imagine a reader finding any book more exciting or more delightful ... a wonder of suspense." — A.N. Wilson
BY SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART
For why? Because the good old rule
Sufficeth them; the simple plan,
That they should take who have the power,
And they should keep who can.
_Rob Roy's Grave_---Wordsworth
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION
When the Editor of the following volumes published, about two
years since, the work called the ``Antiquary,'' he announced that he
was, for the last time, intruding upon the public in his present
capacity. He might shelter himself under the plea that every
anonymous writer is, like the celebrated Junius, only a phantom,
and that therefore, although an apparition, of a more benign, as well
as much meaner description, he cannot be bound to plead to a charge
of inconsistency. A better apology may be found in the imitating
the confession of honest Benedict, that, when he said he would die a
bachelor, he did not think he should live to be married. The best of
all would be, if, as has eminently happened in the case of some distinguished
contemporaries, the merit of the work should, in the
reader's estimation, form an excuse for the Author's breach of promise.
Without presuming to hope that this may prove the case, it is only
further necessary to mention, that his resolution, like that of Benedict,
fell a sacrifice, to temptation at least, if not to stratagem.
It is now about six months since the Author, through the medium
of his respectable Publishers, received a parcel of Papers, containing
the Outlines of this narrative, with a permission, or rather with a
request, couched in highly flattering terms, that they might be given
to the Public, with such alterations as should be found suitable.<*>
* As it maybe necessary, in the present Edition(1829), to speak upon the square,
* the Author thinks it proper to own, that the communication alluded to is
These were of course so numerous, that, besides the suppression of
names, and of incidents approaching too much to reality, the work
may in a great measure be, said to be new written. Several anachronisms
have probably crept in during the course of these changes;
and the mottoes for the Chapters have been selected without any
reference to the supposed date of the incidents. For these, of course,
the Editor is responsible. Some others occurred in the original
materials, but they are of little consequence. In point of minute
accuracy, it may be stated, that the bridge over the Forth, or rather
the Avondhu (or Black River), near the hamlet of Aberfoil, had not
an existence thirty years ago. It does not, however, become the
Editor to be the first to point out these errors; and he takes this
public opportunity to thank the unknown and nameless correspondent,
to whom the reader will owe the principal share of any amusement
which he may derive from the following pages.
1st December 1817.
When the author projected this further encroachment on the patience
of an indulgent public, he was at some loss for a title; a good name
being very nearly of as much consequence in literature as in life.
The title of _Rob Roy_ was suggested by the late Mr. Constable, whose
sagacity and experience foresaw the germ of popularity which it
No introduction can be more appropriate to the work than some
account of the singular character whose name is given to the title-page,
and who, through good report and bad report, has maintained
a wonderful degree of importance in popular recollection. This
cannot be ascribed to the distinction of his birth, which, though that
of a gentleman, had in it nothing of high destination, and gave him
little right to command in his clan. Neither, though he lived a
busy, restless, and enterprising life, were his feats equal to those of
other freebooters, who have been less distinguished. He owed his
fame in a great measure to his residing on the very verge of the
Highlands, and playing such pranks in the beginning of the 18th
century, as are usually ascribed to Robin Hood in the middle ages,---
and that within forty miles of Glasgow, a great commercial city, the
seat of a learned university. Thus a character like his, blending the
wild virtues, the subtle policy, and unrestrained license of an
American Indian, was flourishing in Scotland during the Augustan
age of Queen Anne and George I. Addison, it is probable, or Pope,
would have been considerably surprised if they had known that there,
existed in the same island with them a personage of Rob Roy's
peculiar habits and profession. It is this strong contrast betwixt
the civilised and cultivated mode of life on the one side of the Highland
line, and the wild and lawless adventures which were habitually
undertaken and achieved by one who dwelt on the opposite side of that
ideal boundary, which creates the interest attached to his name.
Hence it is that even yet,
Far and near, through vale and hill,
Are faces that attest the same,
And kindle like a fire new stirr'd,
At sound of Rob Roy's name.
There were several advantages which Rob Roy enjoyed for sustaining
to advantage the character which he assumed.
Banished from England for seeking to marry against his father's wishes, Ivanhoe joins Richard the Lion Heart on a crusade in the Holy Land. On his return, his passionate desire is to be reunited with the beautiful but forbidden lady Rowena, but he soon finds himself playing a more dangerous game as he is drawn into a bitter power struggle between the noble King Richard and his evil and scheming brother John. The first of Scott's novels to address a purely English subject, Ivanhoe is set in a highly romanticized medieval world of tournaments and sieges, chivalry and adventure where dispossessed Saxons are pitted against their Norman overlords, and where the historical and fictional seamlessly merge.
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