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Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Cedric the Saxon

Cedric the Saxon, the rude, warlike master of Rotherwood, a small landholder during the reign of Richard I. Obstinately hoping for Saxon independence, he wishes his ward, Lady Rowena, to marry Athelstane of Coningsburgh, a descendant of the ancient Saxon kings, and he disinherits his son, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, for learning Norman customs. When Ivanhoe returns from the Crusades and falls wounded after winning the tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouche, Cedric allows him to be cared for by strangers. Captured by Normans, Cedric is taken to Torquilstone Castle, but he escapes and helps the besiegers take the castle. In the end he becomes somewhat reconciled to the marriage of Ivanhoe and Rowena and with Norman rule under King Richard I.

Wilfred of Ivanhoe

Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the chivalrous, disowned hero, a Crusader. Returning home disguised as a pilgrim, he befriends a Jew, Isaac of York, and his daughter Rebecca on the way to the tournament at Ashby. After defeating his opponents in the tourney, he reveals his true identity and faints from loss of blood while accepting the prize from Rowena. Captured with the Jew, along with Cedric and his party, he is cared for by Rebecca at Torquilstone and is rescued by the disguised King Richard. He repays Rebecca’s kindness by defending her when she is accused of witchcraft. After Athelstane relinquishes his claim to Rowena, Ivanhoe marries her and enjoys prosperity under Richard’s rule.

Lady Rowena

Lady Rowena, Cedric’s beautiful ward. At Rotherwood, she inquires of Ivanhoe’s exploits from the disguised knight himself, becomes the tournament queen at his request, and learns his identity after he is declared victor. Seized by Norman knights, she is saved from the advances of a captor and the Torquilstone fire by the timely intervention of Richard, Cedric, and Robin Hood. Happy when Athelstane disclaims her, she weds Ivanhoe.

Isaac of York

Isaac of York, an avaricious but kindly Jew. He supplies Ivanhoe with a horse and armor for the tournament and takes him off to be cared for after the knight has been wounded. Isaac is taken prisoner and about to be tortured for his gold when rescuers lay siege to the castle. He is set free but forced to pay a ransom. Learning of his daughter’s abduction at the hands of haughty Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert, he sends for Ivanhoe to rescue her. Sick of England, he and his daughter move to Spain.


Rebecca, the generous, lovely daughter of Isaac of York who returns Ivanhoe’s payment for the horse and armor and nurses his wound. She is carried off by an enamoured Templar during the siege. Accused of witchcraft at Templar headquarters, she is rescued from burning by the exhausted Ivanhoe’s defense.

Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert

Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert (bree-AH[N] deh BWAH-gheel-BEHR), the fierce and passionate Templar who kidnaps Rebecca, deserts her because of Templar politics, and fights a fatal battle against her defender, Ivanhoe.

Richard the Lion-Hearted

Richard the Lion-Hearted, an audacious, hardy king. Secretly returning to England, he saves Ivanhoe’s life at the tournament and leads the siege of Torquilstone. After thwarting an ambush, he throws off his disguise of the “Black Sluggard” and claims his rightful throne.

Robin Hood (Locksley)

Robin Hood (Locksley), the famed outlaw. He wins an archery contest, supports Richard during the siege of Torquilstone, and becomes a loyal subject of the restored king.

Athelstane of Coningsburgh

Athelstane of Coningsburgh, the sluggish Saxon knight who half-heartedly woos Rowena and loses fights with Richard and Bois-Guilbert.

Maurice de Bracy

Maurice de Bracy (moh-REES deh brah-SEE), an ambitious Norman who captures Rowena; however, he possesses too much honor to pursue his designs on her.

Reginald Front de Boeuf

Reginald Front de Boeuf (ray-zhee-NAHL froh[n] deh behf), the savage Norman who seizes Isaac for his gold. He dies of a wound inflicted by Richard amid the flames of Torquilstone.

Prince John


(The entire section is 2,111 words.)