Sceptre, £8.99, 370pp £8.54 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Book of Books, By Melvyn Bragg
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 21 October 2011
The 400th anniversary of the King James Bible has spawned a shelf of celebrations. Many have relished the evergreen words that the 1611 translators –and their forerunners, above all William Tyndale – brought into our speech and writing.
Naturally, Bragg pays eloquent homage to the literary grandeur of the scriptures that shaped his own outlook.
But this heartfelt and far-reaching tribute makes its special mark in tracing the links between the KJB and revolutions in science, politics and society, from the savants of the Royal Society to Abolitionists and Martin Luther King.
Even many reformers hostile to organised religion (such as Tom Paine) drew inspiration from a "transforming force" whose words have made "our world a better place".
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
The Great British Bake Off, series 6, preview: The most popular show on television is back
National Geographic Traveller Photo Contest 2015 winners in pictures
US bookshop offers Go Set A Watchman refunds over false marketing as 'nice summer novel'
Sherlock season 4: Benedict Cumberbatch will be 'a lot less brattish' in Victorian special
Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar enter Forbes' highest paid actors list for first time
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Jeremy Corbyn: Tony Blair could face war crimes trial over 'illegal Iraq invasion'
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'