Told by master storyteller Jacob Abbott, the tale begins with a discussion on racial origins-and an eye-opening, if brief, sweep of European racial history-before moving on to discuss the origins of the original Britons, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Danes, all of whom played important roles in British history over a millennium ago.
As always, Abbott is careful to distinguish confirmed fact from mythology, and is at pains to point out what is certain and what is not-bearing in mind that Alfred ruled a mere 800 years after Julius Caesar. From that basis, the story of Alfred is told from his early years onward, his crowning as king, the early battles-and defeats-and his ultimately successful defense against the Viking attempt at conquest.
This book also delves into Alfred's numerous social policies which were pioneering at the time. His promotion of education, the building of roads and towns, and many other achievements-including the invention of the lantern-greatly accelerated the civilizational development of England.
The only monarch of the British Isles to be given the name "Great," Alfred's contribution to history towers above those of his contemporaries. It is not for naught that his name has eclipsed all other kings and queens of England for over one thousand years.
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About the Author
Jacob Abbott (1803-1879) was an American author, pastor, and professor. Born Jacob Abbot Ⅲ, he later added a “t” to the end of his name in order to break away from being “the third”. Abbott began his career as a professor of mathematics and philosophy at Amherst college in Massachusetts. He became a licensed preacher in 1826, and later went on to become the founder and pastor of the Eliot Congregational Church. Jacob Abbott wrote many works, including biographies, religious books, and juvenile fiction. By the end of his career, he co-wrote thirty-one titles, and authored one-hundred and eighty books on his own.