Sweet Songs of Zion Hardcover – 20 Sep 2007
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'Invaluable . . . a new and vital contribution, essential to anyone with an interest in this complex and fascinating icon of twentieth-century England.' (Dr Kevin J. Gardner, Baylor University) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Stephen Games writes about architecture and language. He was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, made documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and was the first 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 has edited two previous books of BBC radio talks: John Betjeman's Trains and Buttered Toast (pub. John Murray, 2006) and Nikolaus Pevsner's Pevsner on Art and Architecture (pub. Methuen, 2001). He is also writing Nikolaus Pevsner's biography. Stephen Games lives in London with his wife and child.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this amazing book, composed of almost 30 radio talks that he gave towards the end of his life, Betjeman finally found a way to come terms with the Church - by exploring it through the medium that he felt closest to: poetry - or, more exactly, the religious poetry of the hymn.
How did hymns come to be written? Who wrote them? What do they mean for the Christian faith? Over the course of three years, Betjeman looked at 200 of the nation's favourite hymns, which he arranged into 28 groupings, to show how words - and the music that goes with them - reaches and answers a need in the human soul in a way that nothing else can.
Hymns were written - over four centuries - by individuals who not only had nothing in common but might have been sectarian enemies. And yet the hymns they left behind sit beautifully together in the Church's many hymnals - testimony to the fact that beyond our personal struggles and enmities, there is a beauty and a unity that will not be suppressed by human failings.
This, as Stephen Games shows in his stunning introduction, is what Betjeman discovered while working on these scripts and what helped him come to terms with faith at the very darkest period in his life.
"Sweet Songs of Zion" is a fabulous book - and one made up of material that, until its publication, was still unheard of among Betjeman lovers and scholars alike.Read more ›
i skim-read it before giving it, and found it fascinating ;and as you would expect- very well 'written'.
my dad also got straight into it, and delighted to find some real gems- little known, but wonderful hymns by such famous hymn writers as isaac watts.
i'm going to have trouble getting it back- to complete my reading of it!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful addition to the trilogy. But requires my attention, as I haven't fully read it yet.Published 13 months ago by peter powers