The Alfredian project and its aftermath: rethinking the literary history of
the ninth and tenth centuries
Professor Malcolm Godden
University of Oxford
Thursday, 15 January 2009
5.30pm - 6.30pm, followed by a drinks reception
The British Academy,
10 Carlton House Terrace,
London, SW1Y 5AH
King Alfred's preface on the state of learning in England quickly became one
of the best-known Anglo-Saxon writings, and one of the key documents for
writing the cultural history of the period. But there is much that is
doubtful about the programme of translation and book-production which has
been deduced from the preface, and the Alfredian initiative itself was
possibly of limited scope and doubtful novelty. Instead, some of the texts
traditionally associated with the king can be seen as part of a quite
distinct and more ambitious initiative engaging with more challenging ideas.
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This lecture was originally scheduled to take place on 2 October 2008 but
had to be postponed because of the lecturer's ill health.