One of the greatest kings of England who hardly ever set foot in that country, Richard I is remembered in history by his epithet Richard Lionheart, mainly for his incredible series of wars and military victories, both within Europe and in the European counterattack (known as the Crusades) which opposed Islamic aggression against Christian lands in the Middle East.
Made king of England in 1189, Richard was actually French, and also ruled in Normandy as Richard IV, as well as holding supreme leadership in many other parts of France. His Muslim foes, however, just called him Malek al-Inkitar—“King of England.”
This astonishing story starts with the fascinating tale of his mother, and how by the age of 16, Richard had taken command of his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father, King Henry II. His greatest military feats came however as a commander during the Third Crusade, where he led the Christian counterattack against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin.
Dramatic events covered in this work include his campaigns in Sicily and Cyprus, the siege of Acre, and the monumental Battle of Jaffa, which brought an end to the Third Crusade and forced Saladin to grant access to Jerusalem to the Christians once again. By this time, Richard had generated many enemies at home as well, and this book ends with the story of his capture and ransom in Germany, before his return to England and death in 1199.
This is a riveting story of personal bravery, courage, betrayal and intrigue, set against the bloody backdrop of the Third Crusade.
Chapter I: King Richard’s Mother
Chapter II: Richard’s Early Life
Chapter III: Fair Rosamond
Chapter IV: Accession of Richard to the Throne
Chapter V: The Coronation
Chapter VI: Preparations for the Crusade
Chapter VII: The Embarkation
Chapter VIII: King Richard at Messina
Chapter IX: Berengaria
Chapter X: The Campaign in Cyprus
Chapter XI: Voyage to Acre
Chapter XII: The Arrival at Acre
Chapter XIII: Difficulties
Chapter XIV: The Fall of Acre
Chapter XV: Progress of the Crusade
Chapter XVI: Reverses
Chapter XVII: The Old Man of the Mountains
Chapter XVIII: The Battle of Jaffa
Chapter XIX: The Truce
Chapter XX: The Departure from Palestine
Chapter XXI: Richard Made Captive
Chapter XXII: The Return to England
About the author: Jacob Abbott (1803–1879) was a native of the state of Maine who was a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy, a minister, and founder of two schools (the Mount Vernon School for Young Ladies in Boston and the Mount Vernon School for Boys, in New York City). He wrote more than 180 books and became famous for his easy-to-read style of history storytelling, stripped of the dry dustiness which characterized other texts.