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Wilfred of Ivanhoe is disinherited by his father Cedric of Rotherwood for supporting the Norman King Richard and for falling in love with the Lady Rowena, Cedric's ward and a descendant of the Saxon Kings of England. Cedric had planned to marry her to the powerful Lord Aethelstane, pretender to the Crown of England through his descent from the last Saxon King, Harold Godwinson, thus cementing a Saxon political alliance between two rivals for the same claim. Ivanhoe accompanies King Richard on the Crusades, where he is said to have played a notable role in the Siege of Acre by enduring with great fortitude the privations of life in the city and Christian camp after their containment by Saladin; Ivanhoe also tends to Louis of Thuringia who suffers from malaria.