The King James Bible has often been called “The Book of Books,” both in itself and in what it stands for. Since its publication in 1611, it has been the best-selling book in the world, and many believe, it has had the greatest impact.
The King James Bible has spread the Protestant faith. It has also been the greatest influence on the enrichment of English language and its literature. It has been the Bible of wars from the British Civil War in the seventeenth century to the American Civil War two centuries later, and it has been carried into battle in innumerable conflicts since then. Its influence on social movements—particularly involving women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—and politics was profound. It was crucial to the growth of democracy. It was integral to the abolition of slavery, and it defined attitudes to modern science, education, and sex.
As Melvyn Bragg’s The Adventure of English explored the history of our language, so The Book of Books reveals the extraordinary and still-felt impact of a work created 400 years ago.