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King Alfred the Great

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King Alfred the Great Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Soldier, statesman, and scholar, Alfred the Great was a fascinating and highly successful king, pushing back the Vikings to command what is now thought of as the heart of England as ruler of Wessex from 871-899. In this, the first major biography of King Alfred since 1902, his life, career and enduring legacy are given a radical new interpretation, putting into question most of our assumptions about this singular monarch.

Alfred P. Smyth's portrait of King Alfred rejects the image of a neurotic and invalid king who supposedly remained a pious illiterate until he was almost 40. Instead, we are shown a man of remarkable energy and intelligence who took necessary steps to defend his people from the Norsemen. We see, too, a king who had been a scholar all his life and who used his great knowledge to bolster the powers of his own kingship. Smyth also provides a detailed examination of the much-disputed medieval biography of King Alfred, attributed to the King's tutor, Asser. Alfred Smyth argues that Asser's Life may, in fact, have been a late medieval forgery--a revelation with profound implications for our understanding of the whole of Anglo-Saxon history.

Smyth's King Alfred also contains major studies on the writings of this gifted king, on the controversial charters of his reign, and on the origins of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. (Smyth shows this work to have been much more closely connected with the court of King Alfred than previously realized and suggests a new date for the completion of the earliest Alfredian section of the Chronicle.) A monumental and intriguing work of historical scholarship, King Alfred the Great will dramatically change the way we understand this early period of western civilization.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [703]-723) and index.

About the Author

Alfred P. Smyth is Professor of Medieval History, and Master of Keynes College at the University of Kent.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780198229896
Author:
Smyth, Alfred P.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Alfred P.
Location:
Oxford ;
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Royalty
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
History, World | British | Anglo Saxon
Subject:
Great Britain History Alfred, 871-899.
Subject:
Alfred
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Series Volume:
4
Publication Date:
19960331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 pp. plates, 13 charts, 10 maps
Pages:
808
Dimensions:
9.54x6.55x1.88 in. 3.04 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » Pre Tudor
History and Social Science » World History » General

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