King Alfred the Great, his Hagiographers and his Cult
King Alfred the Great, his Hagiographers and his Cult
A Childhood Remembered
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Foreword by Andrew Prescott
Some Key Dates
I Cult and Canon: The Chronicle
1 Kiss the Reliquary
2 Remember the Pope
3 Fix the Date
II Too Good to be True: The Life
4 Write the Life
5 Win the Book
III The Curve of Destiny: The Works
6 Cross the Border
7 Win the Crown

Recensies en Artikelen

“Kalmar’s reading of Asser’s Life of King Alfred is original, personal, and engaging – as befits the nature of the work itself. He captures the chemistry between an extraordinary king and the Welsh priest who entered into his service. Enjoy the ride!”
Professor Simon Keynes, University of Cambridge

“A breathtaking endeavor, challenging, wide-ranging, and lovingly crafted, with conclusions good enough to be true. The author excels in drawing harmony from textual dissonance. Alfred and Asser will never be the same, nor will readers of this extraordinary book.”
Roberta Frank, Yale University

“Tomás Kalmar’s willingness to read and think about virtually everything ever written about King Alfred turns what might have been a well-informed useful work on the long afterlife of Alfred’s life and reign, and Asser’s Life of Alfred, into an excitingly dense microcosm of the genesis of British national identity over a thousand years. He traces a bedrock of historical fact morphing into national myth not only in schoolbook stories but championed by intellectuals and academics equally committed to their own ‘true Alfred,’ hero and exemplar of the nation. Kalmar uses his original trope of ‘Victorian reliquarianism’ to hold together medieval and modern emotional investments in the idea of Alfred, a true modern fetish for secular salvation, a religion of nation and empire. Built on exhaustive research, scrupulous close reading, and precise careful argumentation, Kalmar’s book makes scholarship enormously fun to read – it has narrative propulsion told in an appealingly direct authorial voice. Historical erudition, medievalist and modern, is rarely this compellingly interesting, rarely so frankly entertaining on subjects of continuing importance.”
Nancy Partner, McGill University

“An unusual take on England’s king who burnt the cakes but became the British Empire’s ‘saint’. Kalmar asks simple questions about King Alfred, offering thoughtful answers that will keep readers engrossed, chuckling, and even make them laugh out loud.”"
Professor Jane Roberts, Emeritus Professor of English Language and Medieval Literature, University of London

“Tomas Kalmar’s quest is to find the real Alfred in Asser’s vita. This not, however, a work of historical criticism in a traditional vein, but a skillful, immensely erudite, and sparklingly written exploration of the meanings of a classic hagiographical text.”
John W. Coakley, Feakes Professor of Church History, Emeritus, New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Tomás Mario Kalmar

King Alfred the Great, his Hagiographers and his Cult

A Childhood Remembered

De onderstaande tekst is niet beschikbaar in het Nederlands en wordt in het Engels weergegeven.
This book situates Alfred the Great in his hagiographic context. For 150 years, the fables told in the ninth century about Alfred’s childhood have posed interlocking disciplinary challenges to historians committed to evicting romance from history. Blending current Hagiography Studies with historical, literary, and biblical hermeneutics can help us forgo the anti-hagiographic commitments which motivated the scholars who purified the Victorian cult of Alfred by expunging his legends and salvaging his historicity. The book focusses on the typological functions of three Alfredian fables from the Old English Chronicle, the Old English Boethius, and Asser’s Vita Ælfredi, analyses the plot common to all three, critiques the psychological conjecture that Alfred’s childhood memory was their common source, and shows that synoptically they can help us see how Alfred shaped the curve of his own life’s destiny and how he engaged in the formation of his own cult to last a thousand years.
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Tomás Mario Kalmar

An independent Latino scholar living in Vermont, Tomás Kalmar (Ed.D., Harvard) specializes in interdisciplinary Alfredian Studies. He has published on Alfred and Asser in EOLAS and Peritia. He is the author of Illegal Alphabets and Adult Biliteracy (Routledge 2015).