Hello Bernard, You won't remember but I wrote on your bulletin board a few years ago, my name is Chris Webster and I am BA War Studies undergraduate War Studies student at King's College London. If my exams go as planned after Easter my summer dissertation will be on the leadership of Alfred the Great. I've been a massive fan of your books since I was eight years old, and I was wondering if my favourite story teller might be able to give me some advice as to research on the topic. It'd be great if you could get back to me.. Yours sincerely, Chris Webster P.S. Hurry up and finish the next Saxon installment, Bebbanburg needs to get the Uthred treatment!
Well the obvious source is John Peddie's book, Alfred, Warrior King. John Peddie, I don't think he'd mind me saying this, is more of a soldier than an academic, but his book is full of interest even if, necessarily, much of it is speculative . . . but he brings a soldier's eye to the terrain and strategy. My own feeling is that Alfred was a reluctant warrior, and probably no great fighter (permanently sick, addicted to piety and scholarship, doesn't sort of add up), but he was certainly very intelligent, and he applied his intelligence to the problems of war. In the end his is really a defensive strategy (buy them off, build the burhs) but it worked.