Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Cultural depictions of Alfred the Great

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Alfred the Great, the 9th-century English monarch, has been depicted several times on screen and in literature.

Depictions on screen include:

  • the 1969 film Alfred the Great, directed by Clive Donner, with David Hemmings playing Alfred,
  • The Raven and the Cross, a children's TV serial, about his conflict with Guthrum,
  • King Alfred, episode 4 of Churchill's People, where he was played by Alan Howard.
  • In Vikings, his childhood is portrayed; however, he is depicted as the bastard son of Athelstan by Aethelwulf's wife Judith (based on Judith of Flanders), but is nonetheless raised as Aethelwulf's legitimate son.
  • Horrible Histories and their rebooted series portrayed his life story and was played by Mathew Baynton/Tom Rosenthal
  • The Last Kingdom, a TV adaptation for The Saxon Stories, with David Dawson as Alfred.
  • Alfred is the subject of several works of historical fiction. These include:

  • Alfred, epic poem by Henry James Pye
  • Alfred, epic poem by Joseph Cottle
  • King Alfred, epic poem by John Fitchet
  • Sea-Kings in England, novel by Edwin Atherstone
  • The Ballad of the White Horse, an epic poem by G. K. Chesterton,
  • The Namesake and The Marsh King, juvenile historical novels by C. Walter Hodges,
  • The Saxon Stories series by Bernard Cornwell, in which he is portrayed as a pious and physically weak individual. Although unassuming, he is possessed of an iron will and, ultimately, becomes a significant barrier to Viking ambitions simply by being alive. Later adapted for television as The Last Kingdom.
  • The Hammer and the Cross series by Harry Harrison et al.
  • In The Late Scholar, whose plot takes place in 20th Century Oxford University, there is a central role to a manuscript attributed to King Alfred, and the characters frequently discuss him.
  • On stage, there is the 18th Century opera Alfred, now mainly known as the origin for the song "Rule Britannia".


    Cultural depictions of Alfred the Great Wikipedia

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