- Rebecca and Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert by Léon Cogniet
My latest book from the library is Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. It's set in England in 1194 during the reign of Richard the Lionheart, though when it begins, he's not yet back in England after the third crusade in the Holy Land. Prince John is regent and portrayed as pretty awful (I think he gets too much bad press) and Richard is being waited for with the combination of reverence and hope one associates with the second coming (I believe he was actually a pretty bad king, all in all). The Normans are top dogs, the Saxons are put upon, and the Jews are terribly used.
The main characters are Cedric the Saxon, a direct descendant of Harold II and one of the few Saxon thanes still holding on to a bit of property and power, his ward Rowena, mostly known for her beauty, and Cedric's son Ivanhoe, who loves Rowena and is incognito, just back from fighting in the crusade under Richard.
Other characters - the Jewish moneylender, Isaac of York, his beautiful daughter Rebecca, and a Knight Templar named Brian de Bois-Guilbert who falls for Rebecca. Oh, and Robin Hood too :)
There's a tournament, a castle seige, and combat between Ivanhoe and the Templar, with the heart of Rowena and the life of Rebecca hanging in the balance. All is saved in the end by the appearance of King Richard.
The book has been made into movies a number of times and you can read it online here