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MonkeyNotes-Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

The setting of Ivanhoe is medieval England, sometime in the late twelfth century. The scenes take place in some of England's finest cities and countrysides around York and Sheffield. The principal events take place at Ashby and Coningsburgh (actual places), and at Rotherwood, Torquilstone, and Templestowe, (imaginary places). Events and people move from woods and forests to castles and country mansions.


The historical atmosphere in which this novel takes place is one of rapid change and tumultuous politics. Saxon England has been conquered by the Norman French for over a century, but the plunder of England's finest homes and land is still going forward at full speed. The Normans in power are taking full advantage of their position as conquerors. Additionally, at the onset of the novel, society's finest knights are traveling to or have just returned from The Crusades abroad. Throughout the book, there is a great deal of social and political change, a poorly focused Norman leadership, and an entire country full of displaced and resentful Saxons. In short, the timing of the novel finds England in one of her most vulnerable eras; she is a country divided by enormous social and political differences, nearing the limits of peace. Anything can happen

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