No English Monarchs biography exists for Edward the Elder or his elder sister and Queen of Mercia, Æthelflæd. However, those who wish to read about Alfred’s legacy are well served by the publication in the last few years of very welcome biographies of both Æthelflæd and Edward.

Until recently the only book on Edward was a collection of conference papers, ‘Edward the Elder: 899-924’ edited by N.J. Higham (Routledge, 2001). Two new biographies of Edward have just been published, one written by Harriet Harvey Wood (Sharpe Books, 2018) and the second by Michael John Key (Amberley, 2019).



Buy Edward the Elder edited by N.J. Higham

Buy Edward the Elder by Harriet Harvey Wood

Buy Edward the Elder by Michael John Key

Edward the Elder

Edward the Elder


A mention of Edward the Elder is not complete without a similar mention of his sister Æthelflæd. In the last few years three welcome biographies of Æthelflæd have been published. The first by Joanna Arman (Amberley, 2017); then the book by Tim Clarkson (John Donald Publishers, 2018); quickly followed by that of Margaret Jones (Pen and Sword, 2018).



Buy The Warrior, Queen by Joanna Arman

Buy Æthelflæd: Lady of the Mercians by Tim Clarkson

Buy Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen by Margaret Jones

These portraits come from the Genealogical roll of the kings of England, held by the British Library, Royal MS 14 B VI, dating from the early 14th Century. The full document is described by the Library as “Roll chronicle containing the genealogy of the Kings of England from the Heptarchy to Edward the form of a diagram of interconnected roundels with royal portraits in colours and gold, and an accompanying commentary”.

The Missing Books on The Forgotten Kings