Here are the full original texts of 150 of the best loved hymns in the English language, from the time of the Early Church to the 20th century. Each is acompanied by a fascinatintg commentary, giving biographical details of the aurthgor, such as the Calvinist creator of Rocvk oif Ages who once calculated that the average human sins 2,522,880,000 times; notes on the circumstances in which the hymn was written; and variant versions including the First World War infantry adaptation of The Church's One Foundation. 150 hymns each prefaced by an urbanely written and agreeably subjective commentary with a wealth of anecdote and a few ribald parodies. This charming book shlould also bve reqwuirted reading for all responsible for choosing hymns in church, and recopmmended bedside reading for the eight million viewers of Songs of Praise. Ian Bradley writes with wit elegance and charm and is quite exceptionally knowledgeable about his subject. Bradley has enjoyed sining hymns for as long as he can remember . he attributes the orogin of this enthuisaiasm yto the happy combincvation of having a father who loved Salvation Army choruses and many year exposure to public school chapel worship.ong his other ewnthusiasm are spas, instituations of most kinds and all things Victorian.
"'...there is a great deal for hymn-lovers to enjoy.' Keith Mitchell, The Tablet '...very good it is, too...a book to dip into or read from cover to cover...' Methodist Recorder"