Description : Very few King's earn the appellation 'Great'. Alfred is the only English King honoured with this name and is credited with various successes (the foundation of a navy, English education system and religious revival). His memory looms large in the English Imagination. The medieval 'Life' of King Alfred of Wessex purports to be written by Asser, a monk in the King's service. This account of one of England's best loved and most famous kings has been accepted as offering evidence on most aspects of life in early medieval England and beyond. It was used in Victorian times to create a 'Cult' of Alfred. Alfred Smyth offers a carefully annotated translation of the 'Life' together with a long commentary. He argues that the 'Life' is a forgery which has profound implications not only for our understanding of the early English and medieval past but also for the nature of biography and history. This close scholarly rendering of the text allows the reader access to the intricacies of medieval history.
Description : Horspool sees Alfred as inextricably linked to the legends and stories that surround him, and rather than attempting to separate the myth from the "reality," he explores how both came together to provide a historical figure that was all things to all men.
Description : Asser's Life of King Alfred, written in 893, is a revealing account of one of the greatest of medieval kings. Composed by a monk of St David's in Wales who became Bishop of Sherborne in Alfred's service and worked with him in his efforts to revive religion and learning in his kingdom, this life is among the earliest surviving royal biographies. It is an admiring account of King Alfred's life, written in absorbing detail - chronicling his battles against Viking invaders and his struggle to increase the strength and knowledge of his people, and to unite his people at a time of conflict, uncertainty and war.
Description : The famous German Church Historian Rev. Professor Dr.J.H. Kurtz called King Alfred the greatest and noblest of all the monarchs England has ever had. King Alfred applied all the energy of his mind to the difficult problems of government; to the emancipation of his Christian country by driving out the Pagan Danish invaders and robbers; and then to improving the internal condition of the land. Alfred is perhaps best of all remembered for his famous Law Code. King Alfred's Book of Laws or Dooms came forth from the laws of Kent, Mercia and Wessex. All these attempted to blend the Mosaic Code with the Christian principles of Celto-Brythonic Law and old Germanic customs...the laws of Alfred, continually amplified by his successors, grew into that body of Customary Law which was administered as the 'Common Law' by the Shire and the Hundred Courts.
Description : In the eighth century, the Danes sailed the North Sea and landed on the Northumbrian coast of England. In less than a hundred years they ravaged everything in their path, and eventually captured the city of London. King Alfred the Great of Wessex fought back. A key role in this fight was played by Alfred's oldest child, Aethelflaed, known as the Lady of the Mercians by her own people. This story is a fictionalized account of the life of Lady Aethelflaed. Her successful defense of the western border of English Mercia against the Scandinavian Vikings was a major factor in the success of the English campaigns. She was a warrior princess, a military tactician, and a treaty negotiator whose efforts, together with those of her husband, Ethelred, Overlord of Mercia, and her brother, Edward, eventually drove back the Viking invaders and united England under one crown. Years ago I came across the name of Aethelflaed in my readings in early English history and was intrigued that this heroic woman, who played such an important military role in the making of the English nation, should have received so little mention. In the early 1970s, I started reading every record of Anglo-Saxon history I could find. Clearly, I needed to go to England to find out more about this woman's life. One trip turned into three, and when I came back to the States after these trips, I started writing about her life as I imagined it might have been. Because little is known about the lives of Aethelflaed and her contemporaries, this account of her life should be read primarily as a story told against the backdrop of ninth and tenth century Anglo-Saxon England. I trusted that recorded events might serve as a guide to the characters of these people.
Description : During the early Middle Ages, King Alfred (reigned 871–99) gained fame as the ruler who brought learning back to England after decades of Viking invasion. Although analysis of Alfred’s canon typically focuses on his religious and philosophical texts, his relatively overlooked law code, or Domboc, reveals much about his rule, and how he was perceived in subsequent centuries. Joining major voices in the fields of early English law and literature, this exploration of King Alfred’s influential text traces its evolution from its 9th century origins to reappearances in the 11th, 12th, and 16th centuries. Alfred’s use of the vernacular and representation of secular practices, this work contends, made the Domboc an ideal text for establishing a particularly “English” national identity.