The Viking Wars of Alfred the Great

This book is part of the Campaign Chronicles series published by Pen and Sword Books.

I have been a lot of reading about the viking period recently as we look to start a viking combat study group. Historical sources and sagas are a great place to start but so is looking at the campaigns and battlefields.

Pen and Sword Books very kindly sent me a few books covering this period for me to review and use in our research. I wish it was all about swinging swords around but we spend just as much time in front of a computer or book. Well I seem to…

So the book covers the main battles of Ashdown and Erdington and later campaigns of the 890s.

What is interesting is that the book starts literally 20 minutes from my house with a Viking fleet of 300 – 400 ships carrying 5,000 people landing in Thanet.

I really hope they left some traces but time will tell but I am guessing not, as we appear to be a jump off point for a major main land invasion – remember the Isle of Thanet was an Isle back then.

The book is packed solid with great diagrams, pictures and battle maps. I also loved the used sources from chroniclers of the time.

It takes a linear approach the wars which really helped set the scene and made it relatively easy to follow along.

I found the biographical section really interesting and also how in the aftermath of this period, Alfred took Viking technology and made into something he could use.

This is a book that will get revisited over and over. If you want to see the actual history behind what the Vikings TV Series should be based on – This probably covers Season 1 and 2

My only one struggle, was all the Anglo-Saxon names. But I will revisit and get there I am sure. I wonder if Duolingo do courses in Anglo Saxon?

I found that the author Paul Hill, has a website covering the period and his other books

You can buy the book here from Pen and Sword books.

Please note I was not paid to write this review but was sent a review copy of the book. All comments are my own, and the publishers have not amended the review in any way.