England's Darling: The Victorian Cult of Alfred the Great

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Manchester University Press, Oct 15, 2007 - History - 248 pages
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During the last two decades, numerous studies have been devoted to the Victorian fascination with King Arthur. However, the figure of King Alfred has received almost no attention. For much of the nineteenth century, Alfred was as important as Arthur in the British popular imagination. A pervasive cult of the king developed which included the erection of at least four public statues, the completion of more than twenty-five paintings, and the publication of over a hundred texts, by authors ranging from Wordsworth to minor women writers. By 1852, J.A. Froude could describe Alfred's life as "the favorite story in English nurseries". A fascinating study that will be enjoyed by scholars of history, cultural history, literature and art history.

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About the author (2007)

Joanne Parker is Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol, and teaches for the Open University.

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