In this first new biography for over 60 years, Roy Hattersley looks back over the remarkable life and enduring influence of John Wesley, leader of the second English reformation and the founder of the Methodist church.
John Wesley led the Second English Reformation. His Methodist 'Connexion' was divided from the Church of England, not by dogma and doctrine but by the new relationship which it created between clergy and people. Throughout a life tortured by doubt about true faith and tormented by a series of bizarre relationships with women, Wesley kept his promise to 'live and die an ordained priest of the Established Church'. However by the end of the long pilgrimage - from the Oxford Holy Club through colonial Georgia to every market place in England - he knew that separation was inevitable. But he could not have realised that his influence on the new industrial working class would play a major part in shaping society during the century of Britain's greatest power and influence and that Methodism would become a worldwide religion and the inspiration of 20th century television evangelism.
This is a first-class biography, lucid and always interesting... Hattersley asks all the right questions and seems incapable of writing a dull page. - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Roy Hattersley has written a full and fair biography. - NEW STATESMAN
He can fashion an anecdote out of even the dreariest theological dispute. Indeed, a gossipy politician is the right man for the job. - MAIL ON SUNDAY
An intellectually and theologically compelling portrait - SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY