Medieval England in the 12th century. The evil Prince John rules England in place of his brother, the noble Richard the Lionheart, who is being held in an Austrian prison by Duke Leopold of Austria, while returning from one of his Crusades. Under the avaricious and Machiavellian John, the Norman aristocrats are in constant conflict with the native Saxon people.
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott is set in these turbulent times. The eponymous hero, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the son of a Saxon nobleman has been disinherited by his father for following King Richard into war. Ivanhoe is in love with his father's beautiful ward, Rowena, who is betrothed to a noble Saxon. Ivanhoe returns secretly to England and fights in a tournament disguised as a Knight. He wins the admiration and help of a mysterious Black Knight and together they vanquish their opponents. Meanwhile, Prince John and his nefarious coterie plot to usurp the throne, and Ivanhoe is unwittingly drawn into events that leave an indelible im