Andrew Staden King Arthur and King Alfred

ISBN 13: 9780956530301

King Arthur and King Alfred

9780956530301: King Arthur and King Alfred

King Arthur is one of the most revered figures in the European psyche and the cornerstone of his legend is his resistance to the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain in the fifth century. Yet despite his status as the hero par excellence of the Dark Ages, dispute has raged constantly over the question of his existence, resulting even today in a welter of entrenched and irreconcilable positions. Alfred the Great reigned as king of Wessex from 871 until his death in 899 and in his days fought to the last ditch against Viking adventurers hell bent on the destruction of the West Saxons. In the hiatuses between these pagan invasions he transformed the fledgling England into a more literate and a better defended nation state, securely placed to stave off future attacks from across the North Sea. Four centuries of war, colonisation and tumult ostensibly separate these two giants of the murkiest days of English history, but 'King Arthur and King Alfred' reveals how Arthur exploded into life from the dry vellum leaves of a contemporary biography of Alfred and that the Celtic warlord owes his entire existence to his later Saxon neighbour. This is the story of how 'The Life of King Alfred' became the 'Le Morte D'Arthur', resolving once and for all the provenance of Arthur, the once and future king.

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