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The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study
Why do people sing hymns? Are hymns poetry? What makes a good hymn? The author discusses the nature of hymns and their particular appeal, examines the English hymn as a literary form, and systematically describes its development through four centuries, from the Reformation to the mid-twentieth century.
Paperback, 568 pages
Published August 12th 1999 by OUP Oxford
(first published October 2nd 1997)
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I don't think I'm qualified to accurately review this book, but I enjoyed the focused study on the English hymns. It's a dense book and at times it's hard to see the forest for the trees. I enjoyed the backgrounds of some of the hymnwriters and the movements within hymnody. Occasionally the author seemed to come to conclusions that I found arguable, but not very frequently.