Well done to Rory for winning the Sheffield University’s History Department Essay Prize Competition 2021.

Rory’s essay on Alfred the Great was voted the winning essay from a record number of entries this year.   Rory’s entry was summarised by the judges below:

A perceptive essay that does an excellent job in challenging the idea that we should view history through the lens of ‘great men’, and convincingly argues that any ‘greatness’ Alfred had came not from his actual actions but from the later reverence of him. It is particularly astute in its analysis of the limitations of source material and their persuasions, as well as the later ‘cult’ of Alfred. Throughout, the essay demonstrates intelligent and thoughtful engagement with the subject matter, and it is informed by strong research. Well written and persuasively argued,  this is an exceptional piece of work that shows great promise for further study.