Born in 1829, Rev. Alfred J. Church grew up in Victorian England, was ordained in 1853, and taught at several private schools before gaining a post as professor of Latin at University College of London. A respected scholar, Church's books vary widely in approach, his intended audience ranging from elementary to university level. His large body of work includes historical fiction, biographies, historical vignettes, general history, mythology, epics, and simplified classics, as well as scholarly Latin translations.
Beginning in the late 1870s, he published his first books for a general reading audience. These included such simplifications of classic works as Stories from Homer, Stories from Virgil, and Stories from Livy. The volumes were so well received that he embarked on a thirty year long writing career, producing over fifty historical books.
For those interested in classical education, Church's books are an invaluable resource. Especially gifted at exciting an interest in history in the intermediate student, his works are full of many of the fascinating details of history that introductory courses must leave out. A few of his most famous works are written for older elementary students, but most are directed toward college bound junior high school and high school students. However, they will also delight history buffs of any age. He died in 1912.