Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources

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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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Medievalgirl - LibraryThing

This book is a valuable and fascinating resource shedding light on the life and career on King Alfred of Wessex, who became known (in my opinion deservedly so) in later centuries as ‘The Great’. In ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

The Book contains Asser's Life of the king, and selections from Alfred's own writings on philosophical subjects. This is a good source book and was fittingly translated. The life was written in 893. Read full review

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About the author (1983)

Little is known of Asser beyond this work.

Simon Keynes is Reader in Anglo-Saxon History at Cambridge University. He is the author of The Diplomas of King Aethelred 'the Unready' and of numerous articles on Anglo-Saxon history.

Michael Lapidge is Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Clare College. He has translated the Latin writings of Aldhelm and is the author of numerous books on Latin literature.

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