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The reign of King Alfred the Great (871-99) is among the most stirring periods of English history. As king of Wessex, he strove to emulate those kings of the past who, in his own words, had 'succeeded both in warfare and in wisdom.' He led the battle against the Viking invaders of England, and presided over the revival of religion and learning among his people: his reputation is a measure of his success.Asser was a monk of St. David's, in Ales, who entered King Alfred's service and eventually became Bishop of Sherborne. His Life of King Alfred, written in 893, is a remarkable account of the king's activities in peace and war, and testifies to the admiraction that Alfred inspired in those around him.
This comprehensive collection includes Asser's Life of Alfred, extracts from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and Alfred's own writings, laws, and will.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Little is known of Asser beyond this work.
Simon Keynes is Reader in Anglo-Saxon History at Cambridge University. He is the author of The Diplomas of King Aethelred 'the Unready' and of numerous articles on Anglo-Saxon history.
Michael Lapidge is Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Clare College. He has translated the Latin writings of Aldhelm and is the author of numerous books on Latin literature.