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Alfred the Great

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Book Categories: Contemporary Sources, Biographies, Family & Times, Aethelflaed, Wessex, Anglo-Saxons, England, Vikings, Fiction, Documentary

Contemporary Sources

Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources edited by Simon Keynes. Asser was a Welsh monk who became Bishop of Sherborne. The other contemporary sources include the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and King Alfred's laws, will, and writings.

Writings of King Alfred edited by Frederick Harrison. Alfred in his own words.

Modern Biographies

Alfred the Great: War, Kingship, and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England by Richard Philip Abels. Biography that presents Alfred as a great warlord, an effective ruler, and a passionate scholar.

In Search of Alfred the Great: The King, The Grave, The Legend by Edoardo Albert and Katie Tucker. The dramatic life of the king who defended England against the Vikings and was a social and educational reformer.

Alfred the Great: The King and His England by Eleanor Duckett. A biography filled with drama and action.

The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great by Benjamin Merkle. How a great man came to power during one of the most difficult periods in English history and laid the groundwork for England's triumphs on the global stage.

Alfred the Great: The Man Who Made England by Justin Pollard. Strips back centuries of myth to reveal the individual behind the legend, offering a new interpretation of what inspired Alfred to create England.

Alfred the Great by Barbara Yorke. Biography of the most famous and celebrated Anglo-Saxon king.

Alfred the Great by Daniel Anlezark. A reassessment of the famous ruler of Wessex, both as a man and as a legendary construct.

Saxons vs. Vikings: Alfred the Great and England in the Dark Ages by Ed West. In 871, three of England's four kingdoms were overrun by Vikings. Yet within a decade, Alfred the Great drove them out of half of England.

Alfred in Legend & Literature

The Life and Times of Alfred the Great by Charles Plummer. A biography, expanded from six lectures delivered at Oxford, with special emphasis on Alfred's literary works and military campaigns. Maps.

The Political Thought of King Alfred the Great by David Pratt. Assesses Alfred's rule and analyzes royal texts.

King Alfred the Great by Alfred P. Smyth. A scholarly examination of King Alfred's life and his place in history.

Alfred the Great edited by Timothy Reuter. Collection of papers reassessing Old English literature associated with Alfred, government and society in late 9th century England, and Alfred's reputation in the centuries following his death.

Alfred's Family & Times

Edward the Elder, 899-924 edited by N. J. Higham and David Hill. The son of Alfred the Great, Edward the Elder conquered Danish invaders to become the ruler of most of England.

Edward the Elder: King of the Anglo-Saxons, Forgotten Son of Alfred by Michael John Key. Although largely overlooked, this 10th century king paved the way for unification of English kingdoms.

Rulers and Ruling Families in Early Medieval Europe: Alfred, Charles the Bald, and Others by Janet L. Nelson. The ideas and practices in early medieval royal family politics are the central theme of this collection of papers.

The Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century by Patrick Wormald. An examination of English laws before and after Alfred. First of two volumes on the history of English law.

The Anglo Saxons by James Campbell, Eric John, and Patrick Wormald. An introduction to Anglo-Saxon history and society.

Books About the Kingdom of Wessex
Books About the Anglo-Saxons
Books About the Vikings
Books About Vikings in Britain


The Warrior Queen: The Life and Legend of Aethelflaed, Daughter of Alfred the Great by Joanna Arman. A skilled diplomat, Æthelflæd was willing to resort to deception and force to maintain her power. Yet she also used poetic tradition and written history to shape her reputation as a Christian maiden struggling against the heathen foe.

Aethelflaed: The Lady of the Mercians by Tim Clarkson. The life of one of the most famous women of the Dark Ages.

Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen: Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians by Margaret C. Jones. About the daughter of Alfred the Great who was the first Saxon woman to rule a kingdom.

The Fortress Kingdom by Paul Hill. The wars of Aethelflaed and Edward the Elder, 899-927.

Aethelflaed in Fiction

King Alfred's Daughter: The Lady of the Mercians by Marjory A. Grieser. A fictionalized account of the life of Lady Aethelflaed.

To Be a Queen by Annie Whitehead. Given as bride to the ruler of Mercia, Aethelflaed tries to subjugate her feelings for her first love and win the hearts of the Mercians.

Fiction and Poetry

The Last Kingdom: A Novel by Bernard Cornwell. First book in Cornwell's series "The Saxon Tales" about the reign of King Alfred the Great. The following books are The Pale Horseman, The Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, and Death of Kings.

The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton. Epic poem about Alfred the Great's unlikely victory over Gunthrum and the Danes at the Battle of Ethandune. A Catholic allegory relying more upon legends than historical facts.

Movies & Documentaries

These videos and DVDs are formatted for North American audiences and may not work in other areas. (Some links below may not be visible if you are using the ad-blocking feature of Norton Personal Firewall.)

Great Kings of England: King Alfred the Great is a documentary, sometimes available from Amazon.

Other Documentaries and Movies About Royalty

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Related Topics

The Anglo-Saxon Kings of England
Boadicea the Warrior Queen
King Arthur
William the Conqueror
The Vikings
English Royal History
European Royal History
World Royal History

Other Websites

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle on Alfred the Great
Catholic Encyclopedia: Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great and Anglo Saxon England

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