King Alfred: Burnt Cakes and Other Legends

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Harvard University Press, 2006 - History - 228 pages
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When the BBC ran a poll in 2001 to name the greatest Briton, Alfred, a ninth-century monarch, was the only king to make the top 20. Also the only English sovereign to be called "the Great," Alfred used to be remembered as much through folklore as through his accomplishments.

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. This book offers a vivid picture of Alfred's England, but also of the way that history is written, and how much myth has had to do with that.

 

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User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

This book is about half a history of King Alfred the Great and half an examination of why Great Britain remains so enamored of his legend. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Vikings
37
The Soldier King
56
Cakes saints and disguises
77
Alfreds administration
97
Alfred as scholar
127
A personal Alfred
147
The Founding Father
165
Further Reading
204
List of Illustrations
212
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

David Horspool is the history editor of the Times Literary Supplement.

Bibliographic information