This book is a comprehensive study of political thought at the
court of King Alfred the Great (871-99). It explains the
extraordinary burst of royal learned activity focused on inventive
translations from Latin into Old English attributed to Alfred's own
authorship. A full exploration of context establishes these texts
as part of a single discourse which placed Alfred himself at the
heart of all rightful power and authority. A major theme is the
relevance of Frankish and other European experiences, as sources of
expertise and shared concerns, and for important contrasts with
Alfredian thought and behaviour. Part I assesses Alfred's rule
against West Saxon structures, showing the centrality of the royal
household in the operation of power. Part II offers an intimate
analysis of the royal texts, developing far-reaching implications
for Alfredian kingship, communication and court culture.
Comparative in approach, the book places Alfred's reign at the
forefront of wider European trends in aristocratic life.