Historian Michael Wood describes King Alfred the Great as ‘not just the greatest Briton, but one of the greatest rulers of any time or place’. A bold claim – but in this three part documentary series he attempts to demonstrate why. King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons starts on 12 October at 9pm on PBS.
Beginning with Alfred’s decisive victory at Edington, and the great revival that laid the foundations of a single kingdom of ‘all the English’, Michael then focuses on Alfred’s daughter Aethelflaed, ruler of the Mercians and a great warrior and brilliant diplomat without whom ‘England might never have happened’.
Finally, Michael travels from Devon to Cumbria, Scotland and Rome as he tells the tale of Alfred’s grandson Aethelstan, instrumental in helping to establish the English parliament – and defeat a huge invasion of Vikings and Scots.