The 9th century, the time of the break-up of the empire of Charlemagne and the systematic raids of the Northmen, is by common consent included among the Dark Ages of Medieval history. Most histories present this era as a dreary vista of civil wars and Viking ravages. It falls between the heroic period of Charlemagne and the romantic era of the Crusades, before the days of monasticism and feudalism, a barren waste, in which the figure of Alfred, the “perfect king,” stands out against a shadowy background of violence.
But much is missed in such a shortsighted view of the era. Alfred the Great by Beatrice Adelaide Lees rectifies this. Sections include information on Europe and England before Alfred, Alfred’s boyhood, Aelfredus Secundarius, Aelfred Cyning, the war in the west, the battle for London, the Alfredian state, Alfredian society, Alfredian literature, the Six Years’ Peace, the building of the longships, the last days of Alfred, the myth of Alfred, Alfred’s monument at Athelney, bibliography, index, geneology and much more.
Softcover, 493 pages, 50 illustrations, #879