The "Life of Alfred" was written by Asser, an ecclesiast of Welsh birth, educated at St. David’s, who was recruited by King Alfred to assist in his educational schemes and later became bishop of Sherborne.

The authenticity of the Life has been disputed in the past, as the one and only manuscript has been lost and the book is known only through a copy made in the 16th century, that was itself subject to certain alterations and insertion of matter from other sources. It is now generally believed to be the authentic work of Asser and is the earliest known biography of an English ruler.

The text contained herein is based upon the translation by JA Giles published in 1847 and therefore within the public domain and is presented as follows:-

The Life of Alfred I Relates the origin and genealogy of Alfred
The Life of Alfred II Relates the events of the years 864 to 875
The Life of Alfred III Relates the events of the years 876 to 884
The Life of Alfred IV Speaks of the life and character and just conduct of Alfred
The Life of Alfred V Returns to the events of 886 and 887
The Life of Alfred VI Speaks of how Alfred ordered the government of his people