The Edge of Light

Joan Wolf, Author
Joan Wolf, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (371p) ISBN 978-0-453-00738-2
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
At the outset of this powerfully wrought historical romance set in ninth-century Britain, Wolf lists her Anglo-Saxon characters, at least half of whose names begin with ``Ethel.'' It's an aid readers will often turn to as the action-packed plot develops. Alfred, dubbed by history ``the Great,'' succeeds to the kingdom of Wessex on the death of his beloved brother, Ethelred. He is aided in his struggle against the invading pagan Danes by his haughty young wife, Elswyth, of the kingdom of Mercia. As warrior-king, Alfred establishes a governmental system; as Latinist, he translates the poetry and classics that become the foundation of English literature; as a Christian he puts into practice the principles to which he was devoted. Around Alfred's magnificent defense of the English nation, Wolf ( Born of the Sun ) weaves convincing subplots of passionate love and betrayal that embellish the bare bones of history. (Aug.)
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