The White Horse King, the Life of Alfred the Great, by Benjamin Merkle
The White Horse King is a biography of King Alfred the Great. The inscription on the statue of King Alfred says it all; Alfred found learning dead and he restored it, education neglected and he revived it, the laws powerless and he gave them force, the church debased and he raised it, the land ravaged by a fearful enemy from which he delivered it.
Being Alfred’s birth order was the 5th son, not much was expected of him. Certainly it was unforeseen he would be king. Merkle describes King Alfred’s victorious combat with the fierce and ruthless Vikings, who plundered and pillaged the English coastlands and countryside throughout the book. There is one chapter called, Alfred the Wise, which gives the reader a wonderful view of Alfred the person. This is where we learn about Alfred’s lifelong love of learning that he incorporates in his religion and the law.
I found the book, The White Horse King, to be a quick, informative read into the history of AD 878 where England was being occupied by the notorious Vikings. I would have liked more information about Alfred the scholar, poet, law-giver, and architect vs. the seasoned warrior. However, this book entices me to read further and I would recommend The White Horse King as an enjoyable biography of a great king.
I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s book reviewer blogger program.
Book Review by Mary Crocco