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18 April, 2013

Alfred's Wars (Lavelle) Reviewed in Medievally Speaking


Ryan Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars: Sources and Interpretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare in the Viking Age. Woodbridge and Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell Press, 2010.

Reviewed by Tracey-Anne Cooper (coopert@stjohns.edu)

Ryan Lavelle’s splendid treatment of the significance and consequences of warfare and its organization for the late Anglo-Saxon state exceeds in scope the somewhat limited expectations set up by the title. This is not a book only concerned with warfare in King Alfred’s time, but about the consequences of that king’s policies from the ninth to the eleventh centuries, as they were shaped by, and responded to, Viking assaults, settlement, renewed assaults and then conquests, as well as warfare with neighboring Celtic and British polities. Lavelle’s book will surely become a go-to-guide for those seeking to represent “authentic” medieval warfare of the period in all its facets, as well as those who want to authoritatively critique such depictions. READ ON AT MEDIEVALLY SPEAKING