How to Pronounce Æðelflǽd

Aethelflead- the heroine who’s name few can even pronounce.

Aethelflaed Rises

Opinions, or more often the practice of the pronunciation of the Anglo Saxon name Aethelflaed varies greatly, even amongst Historians. Note the difference of pronunciation between Martin Carver’s consistent /æðʊlflæd/ in his BBC Radio lecture and the pronunciations of Michael Wood in the video clip linked to on this blog. Prof. Wood varies between /æðʊlfled/ (once) and /eðʊlflɪ̈d/ (twice). I do not presume to be able to judge which is correct, however I have found the following to be quite useful in drawing my own conclusions and until corrected will be pronouncing her name /eiðʊlflɪ̈d/  ay thul fleed

The main cause of difference seems to be the correct pronunciation of the letter ash (æ) in accented and unaccented forms. Note these in the quote below:

Chr. Erl. 100, 30, states “Hér com Æðelflǽd, Myrcna hlǽfdige, on ðone hálgan ǽfen Inuentione Sanctæ Crucis, to Scergeate, and ðǽr ðá burh getimbrede; and, ðæs ilcan…

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