This novel's important significance of this novel is the fact that Ivanhoe was the first historical fiction written.
This was one of the books of the Middle Ages which was written following the revival in the study of this era in the early 1800s. Scott set a pattern that every author after him (except Jane Austen) would make at least one historical fiction.
Returning home from the Crusade and representing the return of the faithful followers of King Richard is Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the disinherited son of a Saxon thane.
His father calls him disobedient; his childhood love, Rowena, is to be married off to his kinsman; his king is a captive in Austria; he returns home after a failed crusade—Ivanhoe seems to experience a weakness of circumstance, though not of character.
Under all these hardships, Ivanhoe consistently shows a chivalrous and noble character.
He is not the dashing rough knight that many imagine Middle Age heroes to be, rather he is the simple, boyish hometown hero.
On the other hand, it is the nemesis, Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert, whose fame has proceeded him. Ivanhoe and de Bois-Guilbert finally come head to head when Brian mingles another’s innocence with his villainy.
"It seems as if I were destined to bring ruin on whomsoever hath shown kindness to me. My king, by whom I was honored and distinguished - thou seest that the brother most indebted to him is raising his arms to grasp his crown; my regard hath brought restraint and trouble on the fairest of her sex; and now my father in his mood may slay this poor bondsman but for his love and loyal service to me!
Thou seest, maiden, what an ill-fated wretch thou dost labour to assist; be wise, and let me go, ere the misfortunes which track my footsteps like the slot-hounds shall involve thee also in their pursuit."