Saturday, September 11, 2010

Book Review: The White Horse King

Title: The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great
Author: Benjamin Merkle
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Pub Date: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-5955-5252-5
Pages: 234
Genre: History/World/General
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing for my honest review.

From the Publisher:
The unlikely King who saved England. Down swetp the Vikings from the frigid North. Across the English coastlands and countryside they raided, torched, murdered, and destroyed all in their path. Farmers, monks, and soldiers all fell bloddy under the Viking sword, hammer, and axe.

Then, when the hour was most desperate, came an unlikely hero. King Alfred rallied the battered and bedraggled kingdoms of Britain and after decades of plotting, praying, and persisting, finally triumphed over the invaders.

Alfred's victory reverberates to this day: He sparked a literary renaissance, restructured Britain's roadways, revised the legal codes, and revived Christian learning and worship. It was Alfred's accomplishments that laid the groundwork for Britain's later glories and triumphs in literature, liturgy, and liberty.

About the Author:
Benjamin Merkle is a Fellow of Theology and Classical Languages at New Saint Andrews College and a contributing editor to Credenda/Agenda. He received an MA in English literature from the University of Idaho and an MSt in Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford, and is currently pursuing his doctorate at the University of Oxford.

My review:
Merkle has written a biography of Alfred the Great that reads like a fantastic fictional novel. I like that Merkle has written it in this way as I think it encourages those that aren't history fans to rethink their opinions on historical books. I did not know much about King Alfred before I started this book and it gave me a great, detailed view of his life and all that he accomplished. It was nice to read about Alfred as King and Alfred as a person, in order to get a well-rounded view of his life. It is a short, quick read and you do not need to be an historical scholar or history buff to enjoy it.

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