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Thursday, August 9, 2012

King Alfred’s English

King Alfred's English

  • King Alfred’s English A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do
  • Author Laurie J. White
  • The Shorter Word  website for the Author
  • Ages 12-Adult

Every so often a book comes along that is so interesting you do not want to put it down. King Alfred’s English A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do by Laurie J. White was one of those books for me. 

I received this book as an e-book and immediately put it on my Nook. Finding time to read a book just for myself has been very scarce lately. So when I climbed into bed that night, I picked up my Nook and started to read King Alfred’s English.  I was fascinated from the beginning. I kept nudging my husband to tell him little facts and tid bits I was gleaning from just the first chapter.

English and History are two subjects that you do not usually think of as going together. This book meshes them beautifully. I felt so naïve about the English language we speak while reading this book. I realized I knew almost nothing of the origins of our language.

I learned that English was almost suppressed in favor of French at one time in history. I found fascinating the alphabet letters Old English used to have and are no more. Learning  little nuances of our language brought greater focus on why we spell words in ways that do not make sense to us in modern times.  The book ends with the Reformation and the struggle to get the Bible printed in English.

My plan is to have Sarah (15) read King Alfred’s English to enhance both her English class and her History. While the book in itself is an excellent resource and learning tool, the author has made the study even more in depth by adding a Student page and a  Teacher page to her website.  The addition of these pages enriches the study making it a complete one semester English History course.

The student page is divided into chapters. Within each chapter are three sections: Not to be Missed, Expanding the Lesson, and Literature/Primary Source.  These sections vary in length depending on the chapter. They include videos, movie suggestions, websites

The teacher page includes worksheets and tests for each chapter. The worksheets can  be printed to be done with pencil and paper. Tests can be printed, as well, with all the test questions coming directly from the worksheets.

Once again, fascinating, is the only word I can think of to describe this book both from an English standpoint and a History standpoint. I feel this is going to be a great asset to our understanding of the why’s of English Grammar. And who knows, just maybe it will stop Sarah’s complaints of “Well, it should be spelled that way!” when she knows the reasons behind the strange spelling.


Many members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed  King Alfred’s English. Visit the Crew Blog by clicking on the banner above and read what others thought about this book.

The author Laurie J. White has authorized me to give out a discount code to 5 people for approximately 50% off the retail price. This would make the book $8.47. For the first five comments, if you leave me your e-mail address, I will send you the buying information and discount code to be used through the month of September 2012.

Disclaimer:  As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received an e-book version of King Alfred’s English  for free from Laurie J. White in exchange for my honest review of their product.  All opinions given are mine and/or my children’s

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