[[caption-width-right:194:A Victorian Image of Alfred in Winchester]]

->''A sea-folk blinder than the sea\\
Broke all about his land,\\
But Alfred up against them bare\\
And gripped the ground and grasped the air,\\
Staggered, and strove to stand...''

->''He broke them with a broken sword\\
A little towards the sea,\\
And for one hour of panting peace,\\
Ringed with a roar that would not cease,\\
With golden crown and girded fleece\\
Made laws under a tree.''
-->-- Creator/GKChesterton, ''Literature/TheBalladOfTheWhiteHorse''

'''Alfred the Great''' (849 - 26 October 899) was one of the most venerated rulers in British history, the only one to receive the title "The Great" aside from Cnut. He was born the [[UnexpectedSuccessor fifth son]] of Aethulwulf, king of the obscure, semi-civilized [[UsefulNotes/AngloSaxons Anglo-Saxon]] kingdom of Wessex (roughly, southwestern England from about Berkshire to Devon). He took the throne after the death of his father and brothers. During his reign, he held off the [[UsefulNotes/TheVikingAge Viking]] invaders and converted the Danes to Catholicism after defeating their king, Guthrum. He also was helpful in standardizing the laws and customs of the realm and encouraged learning. He even personally wrote commentaries on ancient literature. His small realm was to become the cornerstone of what is now Great Britain. He was also the father of Queen UsefulNotes/{{Aethelflaed}} of Mercia.

And what's he remembered for? [[NeverLiveItDown Burning some cakes]]. Typical...
!!Alfred the Great in fiction:
* ''AudioPlay/HorribleHistories'' gave Alfred an {{adorkable}} portrayal, showing him recite his awful poetry and becoming homeless, making the listener feel sorry for him being a hopeless cook who didn't watch an old woman's cakes.
* Thomas Arne wrote an opera about the man which had been commissioned by Frederick, Prince of Wales. While not particularly famous, the finale of the opera is a charming little ditty called [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Rule Britannia. ]]
* Creator/GKChesterton featured Alfred as the hero of his long narrative poem, ''Literature/TheBalladOfTheWhiteHorse''.
* ''Literature/TheSaxonStories'' by Bernard Cornwell, set during the Danish Invasions, shows Alfred as a major supporting character, who is fundamentally benevolent, but to the cynical, Danish-raised Warlord narrator, comes off as LawfulStupid on occasion. It is notable, however, that he is one of the few said protagonist (grudgingly) has genuine respect for. In the TV series adaptation ''Series/TheLastKingdom'' he is played by Creator/DavidDawson.
-->"Alfred’s joyless soul had proved a rock against which the Danes had broken themselves. Time and again they had attacked, and time and again [[GuileHero Alfred had out-thought them]], and Wessex grew ever stronger and richer and all that was because of Alfred. We think of kings as privileged men who rule over us and have the freedom to make, break and flaunt the law, but Alfred was never above the law he loved to make. He saw his life as [[TheChainsOfCommanding a duty to his god and to the people of Wessex]] and [[TheGoodKing I have never seen a better king]], and I doubt my sons, grandsons and their children’s children will ever see a better one. [[SourSupporter I never liked him, but I have never stopped admiring him]]."
* Alfred is a playable character in ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'' as the King of Wessex and it is possible to reenact his task of defeating the Vikings and found the Kingdom of England.
* He ended at #14 in ''Series/OneHundredGreatestBritons''.
* ''Literature/TheEdgeOnTheSword'' is told from his daughter UsefulNotes/{{Aethelflaed}}'s perspective and deals with him [[AltarDiplomacy marrying her to King Aethelred of Mercia in alliance]]. In real life she would end up running the place after her elderly husband's death soon after.