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Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe is a novel by Sir Walter Scott. It was written in 1820 and set in 12th century England, an example of historical fiction. Ivanhoe is sometimes given credit for helping to increase popular interest in the middle ages in 19th century Europe.

It is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families, at a time when the nobility was overwhelmingly Norman. It follows the protagonist, Wilfred of Ivanhoe - a scion of the Saxon family out of favor with his father due to his allegiance to the Norman king Richard I of England - as he comes back from the Crusades. The legendary Robin Hood, under the title of Locksley, is also a character in the story.

Ivanhoe himself spends much of the story out of action, having been seriously wounded in the opening chapters. He is nursed by Rebecca, daughter of Isaac the Jew, but there can never be a romance between them, partly because of her religion and partly because Ivanhoe is already betrothed to the Saxon Rowena. However, his great enemy, Sir Brian, finds Rebecca so irresistible that he is prepared to sacrifice everything for her. Many of the book's critics prefer Rebecca as a heroine to the colourless Rowena.

It was the basis for two movies with this title produced in 1913 and 1952.

The 1952 film starred Robert Taylor[?], Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders[?], and Sebastian Cabot[?]. It was nominated for three Oscars.

A series based on the character of Ivanhoe was televised in the late 1950s, starring Roger Moore as Ivanhoe. There have been numerous television adaptations of the novel.

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