"Once he had taken over the helm of his kingdom, he alone, sustained by divine assistance, struggled like an excellent pilot to guide his ship."
Asser's Life of King Alfred, written in 893, is a revealing account of one of the greatest 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 them at a time of conflict, uncertainty and war.
In their introduction, Simon Keynes and Michael Lapidge examine Alfred's reign and turbulent times. This edition also includes other contemporary sources, including annals from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, King Alfred's laws, his will and extracts from his own writings.
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