King Alfred’s English

The English language is quirky, wouldn’t you agree? Why is it so quirky, so complex? How did the English language we use today come to be? You can learn about the history of the English language in King Alfred’s English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do by Laurie J. White of The Shorter Word. This 170 page book takes you on a journey through history to see the English language unfold.

King Alfred’s English takes you to meet the people and events that led to modern English. From Caesar to King Arthur, from Brothers Grimm to the Vikings…meeting Wycliffe and Gutenberg, Henry VIII and Martin Luther….traveling through history, based on the central theme of how the Bible was translated into English we learn why the English language is so complex and rich in vocabulary.

King Alfred’s English is for ages 12- adult. While the book is written in a friendly, conversational manner, it is not material that younger students would enjoy or gain much understanding. I had my daughter, 13, read King Alfred’s English and she enjoyed it greatly. She enjoys both literature and history so it was the perfect presentation of information for her. It served as a great review of history and had fascinating information on our language.

Some interesting facts you will learn:

*Why is knight pronounced “nite” and the unbelievable way it was once pronounced

*The English were not British

*What exactly was the Rebel Yell

*What words and phrases were created by Shakespeare

*The Brothers Grimm were famous philologists (What is that?!?)

And so much more! King’s Alfred’s English is packed full of information! Take a peek at the Table of Contents!


Why should you read King Alfred’s English? You can see a list of reasons why at The Shorter  I think it is important to understand how our language came to be, how the Bible was able to be put into English and how a language can be influenced by others. One of the benefits of King Alfred’s English is that it can be a quick, informational read; easily read in a week or so. However, you can also turn it into a semester long course utilizing the resources the author has provided for free!

At The Shorter Word, there are teacher and student resource pages for King Alfred’s English. The teacher’s page contains worksheets for each chapter and test for each section. Answers are provided! She even gives you suggestions on how to count it for a course credit. We did not utilize the teacher pages. My daughter enjoys journaling or discussing her readings so I didn’t feel the need to use the tests or worksheets. All depending on your student and learning style, this could be a great resource.

The Student’s Page, on the other hand, is an excellent resource to use with King Alfred’s English. For each chapter, the author provides links to video clips, movie suggestions, articles to read, and other ways to expand the lessons. Please note Mrs. White’s encouragement to screen the links for your family’s standard and age compatibility.

Intrigued by King Alfred’s English? You can read the first chapter.


King Alfred’s English is $16.95 retail.  Various online stores such as Amazon, CBD, Grace and Truth Books and others sell King Alfred’s English. (CBD currently has the lowest price for soft cover at $14.89)

Kindle edition is available for $5.95.

King Alfred’s English would be a great addition to your history or English studies. The student pages offer a wealth of information to make it a full, well rounded course. Don’t listen to just me! Head over to the Crew to see what other thoughts of King Alfred’s English.

**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I received a copy of this product for the purpose of review. No compensation was made. The thoughts/opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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