For a long time it formed virtually the whole literature which was readily accessible to ordinary Englishmen. We get our phrases from a thousand books. The common talk of an intelligent man shows the effect of many authors upon his thinking. Our fathers got their phrases from one great book. Their writing and their speaking show the effect of that book. -from The Greatest English Classic Originally delivered as a series of lectures at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, this 1912 volume of essays examines the profound impact the King James version of the Bible exerted upon not only the literature of the English language but upon the very civilization of Britain and its English-speaking offspring, the United States of America. From the impetus that brought about the King James translation and its particular unique characteristics to the Bible itself as a literary work and its influence upon writers such as Milton, Thackeray, Dickens, Stevenson, Poe, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and others, this is an erudite and illuminating survey of the power and prevalence of the King James Bible in the social and cultural lives of the English-speaking world. CLELAND BOYD MCAFEE (1866-1944) was a professor at Chicago's McCormick Theological Seminary. In addition to numerous popular hymns, he also wrote the books The Growing Church, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, and Ministerial Practices: Some Fraternal Suggestions.