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God's Secretaries


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About the Author

Adam Nicolson lives on a 90 acre farm near Burwash with his wife and five children. In the past he has been both a publisher, founding his own company in the mid-1980s of which he remains a director, and a travel writer, spending 2 years walking around England on leaving university and then another 2 years walking around France. He has written books on Eastern Europe, the American West, the evolution of the small English town and the Somerset Levels. He has won both a Somerset Maugham Award and the British Topography Prize and has been shortlisted for Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year.


"A wonderful example of what the determined researcher can find and use where the less diligent or imaginative see only deficiency....Nicolson's greatest gift is his ability to portray the vibrant characters of the men responsible for the unfolding of this story."--Weekly Standard
"Adam Nicolson's re-creation of this context is beyond praise. In God's Secretaries he brings off a brilliant freehand portrait of an England more rich yet insecure, more literate yet superstitious, more urban yet still rural in rhythm, more unified yet riven with factions."--Christopher Hitchens, New York Times Book Review
"An astonishingly rich cultural tour of the art, architecture, personalities and experiences of Jacobean England: high and low entertainment, high and low churchmanship, courtiers, schoolmasters and ecclesiastics. [Nicolson's] picture is beguilingly full."--Times Literary Supplement (London)
"Humanely erudite, elegantly written, passionately felt....[Nicolson] is a skilled storyteller, and he compacts large amounts of research into alluring anecdotal packets."--James Wood, The New Yorker
"In fewer than 250 pages [God's Secretaries] places the King James Version in historical context, brings vividly to life many of those who worked on it, gives a plausible account of how the task was accomplished, and conveys in Nicolson's own passionate prose the full grandeur of the translation."--Chicago Sun-Times
"Nicolson makes that far-away world fresh for today's readers. And he makes the King James Bible seem all the more remarkable-for being the product of a divided age, when grudging cooperation led to a masterpiece of faith and prose."--Wall Street Journal
"Nicolson tells the King James Version's story so well that his book may prove to be the King James Version's indispensable companion for years to come."--Booklist (Starred Review)
"So few documents have survived this labor--apart, of course, from the translation itself--that piecing together the tale is at least as much a matter of intelligent guesswork as of hard research. This is what Adam Nicolson has done, and he has done it extraordinarily well."--Washington Post Book World
"This book is studded with intriguing information and answers to scholarly questions.... Nicolson frequently extols the eloquence, breadth, inclusiveness and beauty of the King James translation. He even connects the dots that lead from this majestic Bible to the contemporaneous King Lear."--Janet Maslin, New York Times
"This scrupulously elegant account of the creation of what four centuries of history has confirmed is the finest English-language work of all time, is entirely true to its subject: Adam Nicolson's lapidary prose is masterly, his measured account both as readable as the curious demand and as dignified as the story deserves."--Simon Winchester, author of Krakatoa

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