The present paper deals with the fortune of King Alfred in Italy during the late eighteenth and the fi rst half of the nineteenth century. It provides the fi rst survey of a topic which has never been investigated so far: some previous attention has been only paid to the two operas on the Anglo-Saxon king composed by Gaetano Donizetti and Johann Simon Mayr. The Italian literary production on Alfred consists of opera and ballet librettos, poems and tragedies which are mainly concerned with Alfred’s confl ict with the Danes and his victory at Edington in the year 878. As in other European contemporary works centred on the fi gure of king Alfred, history and fiction, battles and romantic elements are mingled together, refl ecting an interest in episodes which, far from being historically true, are suitable for dramatization. The evidence provided in this essay shows that Italian authors share the same enthusiasm for a king who, for his defence of England from the Danish invasion, was considered a patriotic symbol throughout the tradition. Although the works of the poets and playwrights involved in this process of construction of a myth show poor stylistic quality, nevertheless they prove to be signifi cant in a period when Italy was striving to achieve national unity and freedom from foreign domination
Faraci, D. (2020). La fortuna italiana di Alfredo il Grande tra fine Settecento e prima metà dell'Ottocento. FILOLOGIA GERMANICA, 12, 71-94.