Ivanhoe. What a book! I have read some dense stuff in my time (Tolstoy, Dickens, all of the Bronte’s, Seuss), and nothing comes close to Ivanhoe.
The back of my copy (because we all scour the back for details, right?) claims that the author, Sir Walter Scott, is “the father of the historical novel.” He had to have earned that “sir” somehow! But truly, this really did read like something ground-breaking. As if no other novel had existed before Ivanhoe. It was published in 1819 (long, long ago), and takes place during the Crusades (long, long, LONG ago). So the book is written in a very Old English form (thou dost!) from a very Georgian Era standpoint. Which means I sometimes had difficulty digesting the actual language.
My difficulty in actually reading the book did not detract from my enjoyment of the plot. Ivanhoe is another action-adventure book on my Summer of Classics book list. But this one was so chivalrous. Which makes sense, since the main characters are knights in shining armor rescuing damsels in distress. Many characters are in disguise. All of them are memorable. Hi there, Friar Tuck! Why hello, Robin Hood!