Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Sunday, March 24, 2019


The popular hymn "Onward, Christian Soldiers" has an interesting pedigree.  It was written by the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), an Anglican priest, scholar and man of many interests.  In his lifetime he authored more than 1200 works.  Perhaps best known today as a writer of hymns, Baring-Gould also wrote many novels, over 22 short stories, books of folklore and collections of folk songs, archaeological studies, travel, local history, and biography, as well as religious studies and collections of his sermons.  He also produced (in his spare time, perhaps) fifteen children with his wife Grace.

He was the author of some fine ghost stories, some collected in The Book of Ghosts (1904) and Margery of Quether and Other Weird Tales (1999), and a noted study on lycanthropy. The Book of Were-wolves (1865).

Of interest to mystery fans is his grandson William S. Baring-Gould, the author of the massive 2-volume The Annotated Sherlock Holmes (1967, since supplanted by Leslie Klinger's 3-volume The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, 2004-5).  The younger Baring-Gould, since he did not have much information about Holmes' early life, based his account on his grandfather's childhood.  Also, in Laurie King's Mary Russell series of detective novels, she has Sabine Baring-Gould as Holmes' godfather.

All of this has little to do with the hymn below, but I'm just fascinated by the man who wrote it.

Anyway, here's the glorious Mahalia Jackson.

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