Alfred the Great

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    Storia, Saggistica

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HE justification for adding to the long list of biographies of King Alfred the Great lies in the abiding charm and permanent importance of the subject. NO statesman of the past has a better claim to be included in a list of Heroes Of the Nations. His life and work have been studied by scholars of many generations. But the subject is still unexhausted and recent years have made considerable additions to our knowledge of it. When, as in the case of the ninth century, contem porary sources are scanty, and Of doubtful inter pretation, it is specially needful to keep up with the advance of historical and literary research. Modern scholars, notably Professor Liebermann, Mr. Plummer, and Mr. Stevenson, have illumi mated many dark places, but it still remains to bring together the chief results of their labours, in a compact and coherent form. This is what I have attempted in the present work. At the same time it is based directly on such original authori ties as are available for the period, and, in particular, on Alfred's own writings. The principal authorities, contemporary and secondary, which I have most frequently used in writing this book, are indicated in the Bibliography.

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