Sir Walter Scott, one of the biggest English writers in history, an influential man, released Ivanhoe in 1820. This is a historical novel, written in 3 volumes. Scott is known for realistic, dramatic and insightful novels that are set in Scotland, but this book is somewhat whimsical and depicts medieval England in a funny, comical way.
At the same time, the modern-day critics are calling it the most commercially successful and best-known novel by Scott. The novel is set in the 12th century - in England - and does a wonderful job of depicting the ridiculous tournaments of knights, the scary outlaws, witch hunts and the "beef" between the good Christians and the Jews that had a strong presence in the country. The greatest thing about Ivanhoe is that it's not just a funny-exciting-entertaining novel, but also quite an influential book.
Our perception of real historical figures like Richard the Lionheart, Robin the Hood and others is strongly formed by Walter Scott's writing. Furthermore, it's safe to say that we know about the Medieval Ages thanks to this man - nobody has ever been able to popularize it the way he could. Needless to say that Ivanhoe was adapted for TV, film, and stage numerous times.
This is the story of one of the few Saxon fams back when the Normans used to be the noble ones in the country. It's 1194, and the 3rd Crusade is a huge failure: the knights are returning home with no trophies whatsoever. They are broken and frustrated, and King Richard is still in captivity somewhere in Austria. Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the main character of the story, is a noble night, and we follow his journey through the great country towards glory.