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Publisher's Summary

This is one of Sir Walter Scott's greatest adventures, set amongst the roaring battles of the struggle between the Normans and the Saxons for control of medieval England. It deals with the rivalry between King Richard the Lion-Heart and his brother, John.

We follow the adventures, skirmishes and romances of the hero, Ivanhoe, a Saxon knight loyal to King Richard, as he attempts to survive the England of King John alongside the disguised Richard and, of course, Robin Hood.

Author Sir Walter Scott, first Baronet (1771-1832), was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet. His father was a lawyer who had brought himself from the family's rural background into legal eminence in Edinburgh, married a well-born girl and was very anxious that his children should continue his process of advancement for the Scott family.

Scott himself was an early victim of polio, only just surviving by dint of being sent back to what remained of the family seat to live with his grandmother. It was she who introduced him to Scottish folklore and ballads, which were to be so influential in his writing career, with novels such as Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

Public Domain (P)2007 Silksoundbooks Limited

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What listeners say about Ivanhoe

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Very enjoyable story

I really enjoyed this reading of the classic Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. This is a great story with everything from romance to battles. Even though most of the themes and characters are familiar to me I was still kept interested and James Cosmo’s voice was a delight to listen to. I highly recommend this book.

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Good story but poor performance

It’s a ripping good story, but this particular performance did not do it justice. Performance was monotonous, with pauses taken at inappropriate places, and a bit slow and dull

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  • Robert
  • 07-08-2017

A brilliant rendering of a classic

What did you love best about Ivanhoe?

It gives a better reading of history and culture than dry academic discourse. And within a children's tale there is more nuance and sincerity than most of modern politics.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The swineherd. His honesty moved me and his predicament has a telling similarity to the one of the modern middle class.

What about James Cosmo’s performance did you like?

His voice. It was not overtly full of fake rural tones, but naturally so. Romantic in the spirit of the book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Cedric's destiny and his struggle to keep his family and his nation alive.

4 people found this helpful

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  • COTK
  • 10-11-2018

Fantastic

Stellar story, superb narration. A grand adventure. Very long, but worth the time investment, thanks to the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Isaac
  • 31-07-2018

My favorite book of all time.

Narration was fantastic! Totally captivating, I will listen to it many more times, I am sure.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ngall
  • 02-05-2019

Amazing!

Sir Walter Scott concocts an unforgettable adventure, read by James Cosmo, with an accent and voice that fit the time

1 person found this helpful

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  • pandajama
  • 23-11-2020

Very well performed.

I probably won't endure another Scott novel, but I am glad I toughed this one out. It kept my interest, but that is in great part because this reader is very, very good. Certainly if you are a Walter Scott fan, check this one out. It is superbly well performed.

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  • Amy McVay
  • 23-08-2020

Perfect audio book experience.

Loved the story, the nuanced and dry comic relief with dramatic deep storyline. I really enjoyed Mr. Cosmo’s interpretation and never experienced the annoyance that can happen as an audio book goes on. Highly recommend!

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  • randy
  • 30-07-2020

Fantastic

One of my favorite books! This reading by James only served to further solidify my love for it! Thank you for producing such a great tale!

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  • Ben L.
  • 08-05-2020

James Cosmo makes this great

Voice and performance is everything in an audiobook and James Cosmo is fantastic. If only more classics had his narration!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-2020

Chivalry .

Great story of adventure, and chivalry. Loved the opportunity to escape the humdrum of everyday life.

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  • C Adams
  • 12-02-2020

James Cosmo was Destined to Read Ivanhoe

The action and romance of this ageless story was brought to life by the perfect performance of James Cosmo. It was read like poetry. I will listen to it over and over. Beautifully rendered.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-08-2017

Great narration

Not the easiest story to get into (written 200 years ago) but it's the narration that makes it accessible and engaging

Highly recommended

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-01-2018

James Cosmo's Ivanhoe

I'm a big fan of Cosmo's acting, but this reading was a bit stilted. Some breathing exercises and longer phrasing required.

2 people found this helpful

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  • metaldog
  • 19-01-2019

Superb rendering by James Cosmo ...

Inspired choice of narrator - Mr Cosmo played Lord Cedric in a standout performance in the BBC dramatisation of this book. I enjoyed this audible production immensely.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-03-2021

Great book - dreadful narration!

Very bad production.. don’t buy this one whatever you do. Absolutely no feel for Scott’s prose whatsoever.


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  • David Gibbons
  • 05-08-2020

Well read but some words mispronounced

Essentially the original game of thrones - trial by combat, knights in disguise etc minus the magic. The reader is very good but watch out if you want to learn the correct pronunciation - dais, trysting, bier - are all mispronounced (obscure admittedly but not that obscure) and this slightly ruins the fun.

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  • Paul J.
  • 18-03-2020

Sorry, I couldn't finish it

Tried to listen, but there were no hooks in storyline nor characters nor description. Just not one for me.

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  • Dai pp. Sandy
  • 11-03-2020

Love ,Swords and Lance(with a few arrows for luck)

I haven't read this book for upwards of 60 years but Scott.has the beating of modern authors still! The narration is excellent and Jimmy Cosmo has the characters to perfection.

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  • Rui Ribeiro
  • 29-02-2020

Poor narration

I found the narration was particularly poor and that was quite detrimental to the overall listening experience. A good narration can enhance a boring book, a boring narration can kill a half decent book. Unfortunately, this book is an example of the latter. I almost gave up on finishing the book because of a poor narration.
Having just finished a fantastic Audible dramatization of another classic, the poor narration here is all the more obvious. Such a shame...

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  • Lizzy
  • 12-10-2018

One of my favourite stories

A lovely telling of one of the best stories ever written. James Cosmo does a wonderful job narrating.

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