This is Betjeman's selection of his favourite hymns with full, witty and erudite commentary. The late poet laureate Sir John Betjeman was a National Treasure. His poems such as "Joan Hunter Dunn", "Phone for the Fishnives, Norman" and "Come on ye bombs and fall on Slough" gripped the public imagination and made him one of the most loved of English characters of the last century. His battles for the restoration and vindication of Victorian Architecture were life long. His two-volume "Collins Guide to the Parish Churches of England", "Wales and the Isle of Man" was a huge bestseller and remains in print to this day. His profound love for The Church of England was exemplified in his love for English hymn writers of whom he realised and advocated their historical as well as their liturgical and spiritual importance. Nowhere is this more evident than in the radio talks he gave to huge audiences on English hymns. These have been assembled here by one of Betjeman's greatest admirers, scholars and researcher - Stephen Games.
Stephen Games is an author and editor. He has edited one volume of Nikolaus Pevsner's radio lectures and four volumes of the prose works of John Betjeman. A former documentary maker for the BBC and arts correspondent of The Independent, his architectural reviews for The Guardian earned him a British Press Award. He has written for the Los Angeles Times and been deputy editor of the RIBA Journal. He was educated at the Central School of Art and Magdalene College, Cambridge. John Betjeman was born in 1906 and educated at Malborough and Magdalen College, Oxford. He gave his first Radio talk in 1932; future appearances made him into a national celebrity. He was knighted in 1969 and appointed poet laureate in 1972. He died in 1984.
Preface; Introduction; Isaac Watts; William Cowper and Augustus Toplady; The Wesleys; Reginald Heber and James Montgomery; Hymns of the Mission; Welsh Hymns; Hymns of the Oxford Movement; Mrs C.F. Alexander and Other Women; Keble and Other Tractarians; Victorians; More Victorians; Seventeenth Century Hymns Writers; Some Poets Laureate; The Yattendon Hymnal; American Hymns Writers; More Translations; More Hymns of the Eighteenth Century; Four Rectors; Scottish Hymn Writers; Some Bishops; From the Cathedral; Some Non Conformists; Songs of the Old; From the Chief Musicians; From the Orhgan Loft; From Germany; From the Rev J.B. Dykes; English Traditional Melodies; Indexes of Hymns, Hymn Writers, Melodies and Composers.