Alfred the Great’s life certainly justifies his title as the only ‘Great’ king in England’s history. The Saxon monarch, based in his native Wessex, threw back the all-conquering Viking invaders in the battles of Ashdown and Ellendun, but united his kingdom, created the first English Navy, and held a court that became a byword for civilisation. Reaching behind the myths of burned cakes and the Isle of Athelney Justin Pollard presents a portrait of the king who left a united kingdom to his sons.
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