Date: August 2008
Creator: Crumbley, Allex
Description: The political implications of the OE prose translations of King Alfred (849-899) are overlooked by scholars who focus on the literary merits of the texts. When viewed as propaganda, Alfred's writings show a careful reshaping of their Latin sources that reaffirms Alfred's claim to power. The preface to Pastoral Care, long understood to be the inauguration of Alfred's literary reforms, is invested with highly charged language and a dramatic reinvention of English history, which both reestablishes the social hierarchy with the king more firmly in place at its head and constructs the inevitability of what is actually a quite radical translation project. The translations themselves reshape their readers' understanding of kingship, even while creating implicit comparison between Alfred and the Latin authors.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries