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Travelling home from the crusades, Richard was shipwrecked off the coast of Austria, after an encounter with pirates. Richard should have been under the Church's protection, but in Outremer he had given the Duke of Austria good reason to loathe him and he was captured. He was immediately claimed by the Holy Roman Emperor, who also bore a grudge against the captive English king. Richard was to spend fifteen months imprisoned. For a man of his fiery nature, it was truly shameful. His mother, Elear of Aquitaine, began to move heaven and earth to raise a staggering ransom, travelling to Germany herself to buy the release of her favourite son. But it was t to be that easy. At the eleventh hour, Heinrich anunced that he had had a better offer from the French king, Philippe, and Richard's own treacherous brother, John, offering Heinrich an even larger sum to continue Richard's captivity - or to turn him over to their tender mercies.
Sharon Kay Penman is the author of seven previous historical novels and four medieval mysteries set during the reign of Eleanor of Aquitaine. She lives in Mays Landing, New Jersey. A King's Ransom continues from the long-awaited Lionheart which published in 2012, and completes the story of Richard I.