Transcript: Adam Nicolson on his book God's Secretaries | Oct 02, 2004

Adam Nicolson stands behind a small podium in a library and addresses an unseen audience. He’s in his late forties, clean-shaven, with receding gray hair. He’s wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped tie.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Adam Nicolson. Author, ‘God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible.’ University of Toronto Bookstore Reading Series. May 10, 2004."

He says THE KING JAMES BIBLE,
UH, IS A PRODUCT OF A POLITICAL
DESIRE FOR PEACH AND CONSENSUS.
IT'S AN EXTRAORDINARILY
POLITICAL BOOK.
AND, UM THE BOOK I HAVE WRITTEN
IS REALLY ABOUT THE, THOSE
CIRCUMSTANCES, THE SOCIAL,
CULTURAL, AESTHETIC AND
POLITICAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF ITS
IS REALLY ABOUT THE, THOSE
CIRCUMSTANCES, THE SOCIAL,
CULTURAL, AESTHETIC AND
POLITICAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF ITS
WRITING, OR ITS TRANSLATING.
IT'S EASY ENOUGH TO THINK OF
SOMETHING LIKE THE KING JAMES
BIBLE AS JUST LYING THERE LIKE
A ROCK, LIKE A SORT OF NATURAL
OBJECT AS IF IT NEVER REALLY
HAD A MAKING.
AND IN A WAY, THE WAY THAT MY
BOOK WORKS IS SIMPLY TO UNPACK
THAT ASSUMPTION OF NATURALISTS.
I'LL EXPLAIN WHY I WROTE IT.
SEVERAL YEARS AGO IN 1999,
I WAS, IN A MANY OF SPEAKING,
WORKING FOR Mr. BLAIR, WRITING
A BOOK ABOUT THE BRITISH LABOUR
GOVERNMENT'S MOST DISASTROUS
PROJECT SO FAR, THE MILLENNIUM DOME.

[Audience laughs]

Adam continues NOW I DON'T IF YOU'VE
HEARD ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM
DOME.
IT WAS A GIANT, WHITE TENT OR
MUSHROOM BUILT IN THE EAST END
OF LONDON DESIGNED TO CELEBRATE
AND ENSHRINE EVERYTHING THAT
WAS MOST BEAUTIFUL AND
ADMIRABLE AND EXCITING ABOUT
ENGLAND AND THE ENGLISH AND THE
FEUDAL BRITAIN, I SHOULD SAY,
IN THE MORE PC WAY, UH, THE
BRITISH AND OUR FUTURE AND IT
WAS A TOTAL AND UTTER
CATASTROPHE.
A BILLION POUNDS WERE SPENT ON
SOMETHING THAT WAS TAWDRY,
SECOND RATE, FILLED WITH
ACRIMONY, MUTUAL LOATHING
AND BLOOD OVER THE MANY ACRES
OF CONCRETE THAT WERE INVOLVED.
AND MY JOB WAS TO CELEBRATE
IT'S MARVELOUSNESS.

[Audience laughs]

Adam continues IT WAS HONESTLY THE
WORST YEAR OF MY LIFE.
AND A FRIEND OF MINE AT THE
TIME SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU
SHOULD BE DOING?
YOU SHOULD BE WRITING A BOOK
ABOUT THE KING JAMES BIBLE
BECAUSE THAT TOO WAS A
GOVERNMENT PROJECT.
THAT, TOO, WAS DESIGNED TO
ENCAPSULATE AND ENSHRINE
EVERYTHING THAT WAS MOST
MARVELLOUS ABOUT THE CULTURE
INVOLVING HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE
PROBABLY AND FROM THAT MOST
UNPROMISING SET OF
CIRCUMSTANCES PERHAPS THE MOST
BEAUTIFUL BOOK OF ENGLISH PROSE
EVER WRITTEN EMERGED.
AND HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
I, UM--WHAT I'M GOING TO DO
NOW IS JUST READ TO YOU A BIT
ABOUT AN EVENT IN JACOBEAN
ENGLAND, WHICH ENCAPSULATES,
I THINK, ONE ELEMENT OF WHAT IS
SO MARVELLOUS ABOUT IT.
IT'S A PARTY.
AND, UM, JAMES--KING JAMES--
IT'S VERY INTERESTING, THIS,
THAT SORT OF KING JAMES EMERGES
IN MY STORY AS A SORT OF GREAT
PEACEMAKING KING.
IN A WAY I THINK MY BOOK, IN
FACT, IS, IS SORT OF LESSENED
COMPARED WITH
[Indiscernible]
HOW MUCH BETTER A PLACE ENGLAND
IS THAN FRANCE.

[Audience laughs]

A female voice says HERE, HERE.

Adam says HERE, HERE.
(Laughing)
ALL THAT HORRIBLE VIOLENCE.
WE DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
(Laughing)
NOW, UM, JAMES WAS
MARRIED TO A DANISH PRINCESS
NAMED ANNA AND HIS BROTHER-IN-
LAW, HER BROTHER WAS, AS I
WRITE HERE, “THE VAST, RED,
CREAM TEA EATING, CHRISTIAN THE
FOURTH, KING OF DENMARK AND
NORWAY, THE MAN WHO INSISTED
THAT DANISH BEER BE STRONGER
THAN ANY BREWED IN THE WORLD.”
HE IS THE ORIGINATOR OF
CARLSBERG.
“WAS COMING TO VISIT HIS SISTER
AND HER HUSBAND, NEWLY ELEVATED
FROM THE EXIGENCIES OF SCOTLAND
TO THE LUSHNESS FOR WHICH HE
HAD A FAMOUS APPETITE.
JAMES HIMSELF WAS SOMETHING OF
A DRINKER.
HE LIKED THE HEADY, SWEET
MARMSIES FROM SOUTHERN GREECE,
A FEATHER BED OF A DRINK.
BUT THERE WAS NO KEEPING UP
WITH CHRISTIAN AND HIS DANES.
THEY SCANDALIZED EVEN THE
JACOBEAN COURT WITH THE DEPTH
OF UNBUTTONED DRUNKENNESS THEY
UNLEASHED ON THE CAPITAL.
THE PEAK OF THEIR WILD CAREER
CAME TOWARDS THE END OF THEIR
VISIT ON A FOUR DAY OUTING TO
TIBBLES,” WHICH WAS A GREAT
ELIZABETHAN GLORY HOUSE JUST
NORTH OF LONDON, WHERE ROBERT
CECIL, WHICH IT BELONGED TO
ROBERT CECIL.
ROBERT CECIL WAS JAMES'
SECRETARY, HIS SORT OF FIXER,
HIS SORT OF PETER MENDELSSOHN
FIGURE IF THAT MEANS ANYTHING
TO YOU.
(Laughing)
UM, “WHERE ROBERT
CECIL NOW THANKS TO JAMES
SALISBURY AND EVER RICHER OVER
CUSTOMS DEALS AND DUES, WHICH
HE'D FARMED OUT TO A GROUP OF
BUSINESSMEN DOLED OUT THE
LUXURY.
NOTHING WAS TOO MUCH FOR THE
DANISH REBELS.
AN ARTIFICIAL OAK TREE OF FULL
SIZE WAS BEDECKED WITH LEAVES
MADE OF TAFFETA ON EACH OF
WHICH WAS WRITTEN THE WORD
“WELCOME.”
DRINK FLOWED, MEN AND WOMEN
WALLOWED IN BEASTLY DELIGHTS.”
“IT WAS, ACCORDING TO
CONTEMPORARY WITS,” SAID SIR
JOHN HARRINGTON, “A VISION TO
MATCH MOHAMMED'S PARADISE.”
“BUT FOR A MEASURE OF
HOW COURT LIFE STOOD OUTSIDE
THE SORT OF REGULATED
STRICTNESS, WHICH PURITAN AND
GOD FEARING ENGLISHMEN BELIEVED
IN, NOTHING COULD QUITE MATCH
THE EVENTS OF THE EVENING AT
TIBBLES ON WHICH THE MASK OF
SOLOMON AND THE QUEEN OF
SHEBA.”
JAMES WAS ENDLESSLY COMPARED TO
SOLOMON AS THE GREAT PEACE
BRINGING, AS A WISE KING.
HE USUALLY COMPARED HIMSELF TO
SOLOMON WHEN HE WASN'T
COMPARING HIMSELF TO GOD.
HE ONCE SAID IN A SPEECH AT THE
HOUSE OF COMMONS, “CAN'T YOU
SEE THAT I HAVE SPARKLES OF THE
DIVINITY ABOUT ME?”
AS IF HE WAS WEARING--SO I
ALWAYS THINK OF A SORT OF
SHIRLEY BASSEY OR NINA SIMONE.
SEQUINED DRESS OF GODLINESS.
ANYWAY...
UM, THE MASK OF SOLOMON AND THE
QUEEN OF SHEBA.
“THIS MASK WAS TO BE FORMED
INTENDED AS A PICTURE OF WISDOM
AND MATURITY, THE PLAN FOR THE
ENTERTAINMENT HAD BEEN CECIL'S
OWN.
IT TURNED INTO ALCOHOL-SODDEN
CHAOS AND HARRINGTON GAVE A
FULL ACCOUNT.
AFTER DINNER, THE
REPRESENTATION OF SOLOMON, HIS
TEMPLE AND THE COMING OF THE
QUEEN OF SHEBA WAS MADE OR, AS
I MADE BETTER SAY, WAS MEANT TO
HAVE BEEN MADE BEFORE THEIR
MAJESTIES BY ADVICE BY THE EARL
OF SALISBURY AND OTHERS.
BUT ALAS, AS DO ALL OTHER
EARTHLINGS FAIL TO PULL MORTALS
IN ENJOYMENT SO DID PROVE OUR
PRESENTMENT HEREOF.
THE LADY WHO DID PLAY THE
QUEEN'S PART DID CARRY MOST
PRECIOUS GIFTS TO BOTH THEIR
MAJESTIES, BUT FORGETTING THE
STEPS ARISING TO THE CANOPY,
OVERSET HER CASKETS INTO HIS
DANISH MAJESTY'S LAP AND FELL
AT HIS FEET, THOUGH I THINK IT
RATHER WAS IN HIS FACE.
MUCH WAS THE HURRY AND
CONFUSION.
CLOTHES AND NAPKINS WERE AT
HAND TO MAKE ALL CLEAN.
HIS MAJESTY THEN GOT UP AND
WOULD DANCE WITH THE QUEEN OF
SHEBA, BUT HE FELL DOWN AND
HUMBLED HIMSELF BEFORE HER AND
WAS CARRIED TO AN INNER CHAMBER
AND WAS LAID ON A BED OF STATE,
WHICH WAS NOT A LITTLE DEFILED
WITH THE PRESENCE OF THE QUEEN,
WHICH HAD BEEN BESTOWED ON HIS
GARMENTS SUCH AS WINE, CREAM,
JELLY, BEVERAGE, CAKES, SPICES
AND OTHER GOOD MATTERS.
(Laughing)
FAITH, HOPE AND
CHARITY, ALL ENGLISH
ARISTOCRATIC GIRLS DRESSED UP
AS THE VIRTUES.
“FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY
APPEARED ONE BY ONE TO MAKE
THEIR SPEECHES.
FAITH WAS SO DRUNK SHE COULDN'T
GET A WORD OUT.”
(Laughing)
“HOPE COULDN'T STAND
UPRIGHT AND HAD TO WITHDRAW.
ONLY CHARITY, CLEARLY THE
GREATEST OF THESE, COULD SAY
WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY, THAT
CHRISTIAN THE FOURTH ALREADY
HAD ALL THE GIFTS THAT HEAVEN
COULD BESTOW AND SO THERE WAS
NOTHING MORE SHE COULD GIVE
HIM.
BEFORE RETURNING TO THE LOWER
HALL WHERE SHE FOUND HOPE AND
FAITH SICK AND SPEWING.”
(Laughing)
“AND THAT IS THE
ENGLAND FROM WHICH THE KING
JAMES BIBLE EMERGED.”
YOU MIGHT ASK HOW AND I THINK
THAT IN FACT THAT PICTURE,
WHICH IS IN SOME WAYS THE
CONVENTIONAL PICTURE OF ROYAL
JACOBEAN ENGLAND, UH, AS A
SELF-INDULGENT, LUSH, CHAOTIC,
UH, CORRUPT PLACE.
ALL OF WHICH IS TRUE IS NEVER
THE LESS AN ENGLAND IN WHICH,
UM, THERE ARE CLEARLY OTHER
CURRENTS IN PLAY.
ENGLAND HAS ARRIVED AT THE END
OF THE 16TH CENTURY IN SOME
MUDDLE, NOT AS BAD AS THE
FRENCH, BUT WHAT COULD BE,
ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE
REFORMATION IN THE STATE.
HENRY THE EIGHTH HAD FAMOUSLY
BROKEN WITH ROME AND MOVED
TOWARDS PROTESTANTISM AND THEN
TOWARDS THE END OF HIS LIFE
WITHDRAWN FROM PROTESTANTISM
AND BACK TOWARDS THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH.
HIS SON EDWARD THEN MOVED AGAIN
TO AN EVEN FIERCER AND
PERSECUTING PROTESTANTISM, BUT
SUCCEEDED MY MARY HIS SISTER,
THEN VERY CATHOLIC, MARRIED TO
THE KING OF SPAIN, BURNING
PROTESTANTS IN THE WAY HER
BROTHER HAD BURNED CATHOLICS.
THEN ELIZABETH, AGAIN, FAMOUSLY
SORT OF CAME BACK TO THIS THING
THAT'S ALWAYS CALLED THE VIE A
MEDIA, THE MIDDLE WAY, BUT IS
IN FACT JUST A SORT OF, UH,
PARALYSED MUDDLE THAT IN SOME
WAYS ENGLAND IS PROTESTANT.
IT HAS A VERY CALVINISTIC
THEOLOGY.
UH, IT HAS THE BIBLE FAMOUSLY
IN THE VERNACULAR, WHICH THE
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH COULDN'T
TOLERATE, BUT IT HAS VERY
CATHOLIC CHURCH STRUCTURES.
IT HAS CATHOLIC FORMS OF, UH,
LITURGY AND CHURCH
ORGANIZATION.
AND THESE, UM, TWO CURRENTS IN
ENGLAND ARE JUST SORT OF
STIFFENED INTO A KIND OF, UH,
IRRESOLUTION, UH, IN THE SECOND
HALF OF THE 16TH CENTURY.
AND ONE SYMPTOM OF THAT IS
THAT, UH, ENGLAND BY THE TIME
JAMES ARRIVED ON THE THRONE AT
THE DEATH OF ELIZABETH HAD TWO
BIBLES, TWO COMPETING BIBLES.
ONE WAS THE GENEVA BIBLE, A
VERY PROTESTANT, DONE IN GENEVA
BY SOME EXILED ENGLISHMEN
DURING THE REIGN OF MARY,
BEAUTIFULLY DONE, EXCELLENT
TRANSLATION AND WONDERFULLY
PRINTED A VERY MODERN, ROMAN
TYPEFACE, UH, WITH LOTS OF SORT
OF INTERESTING AND UNUSUAL
DIAGRAMS LIKE HOW TO FIND YOUR
WAY AROUND THE HOLY LAND, HOW
TO MAKE YOUR OWN ARCH OF THE
COVENANT.
ALL SORTS OF SORT OF TIPS LIKE
THAT AND, UM--NOW I'VE
FORGOTTEN WHAT I WAS GOING TO
SAY.
OH YES, THAT'S RIGHT.

[Audience laughing]

Adam continues BUT WITH A VERY SORT
OF FIERCELY ANTI-ROYAL THREAD
RUNNING THROUGH IT.
THE WORD KING, WHICH OBVIOUSLY
APPEARS THROUGHOUT THE OLD
TESTAMENT, I THINK FOUR OR FIVE
HUNDRED TIMES.
IN THE GENEVA BIBLE
IT'S TRANSLATED EVERY SINGLE
TIME AS TYRANT AND IT'S NOT
SOMETHING THAT CLEARLY JAMES
WAS GOING TO BE VERY KEEN ON,
COULDN'T REALLY--YOU KNOW, THE
ROYAL ESTABLISHMENT COULD NOT
ACCEPT THE GENEVA BIBLE AS THE
NATIONAL BIBLE.
BUT ALONGSIDE IT AND
COMPETING WITH IT WAS A ROYAL
BIBLE CALLED THE BISHOP'S BIBLE
COMMISSIONED BY ELIZABETH IN
1568 AND IT'S VERY
GOVERNMENTAL.
IT HAS A PORTRAIT OF ELIZABETH
ON THE FRONT PAGE.
IT EVEN HAS PORTRAITS OF HER
MINISTERS AROUND HER.
IT'S LIKE A GOVERNMENT REPORT.
UH, BUT IT'S AN APPALLING
TRANSLATION AND EVERYBODY HATED
IT.
UH, FAMOUSLY THE PHRASE THAT
APPEARS IN THE KING JAMES BIBLE
IS “CAST THY BREAD UPON THE
WATER” IS TRANSLATED IN THE
BISHOP'S BIBLE AS “LAY THY
BREAD UPON WET FACES.”

[Audience laughing]

Adam continues WHICH DOESN'T QUITE
HAVE THE SAME THING TO IT, DOES IT?
PEOPLE HATED IT.
SO JAMES ARRIVES.
HE'S BEEN IN SCOTLAND, WHICH IS
ALMOST AS HORRIBLE A PLACE TO
BE KING AS FRANCE.
THE SCOTTISH CROWN IS VERY
POOR.
HE'S BEEN KICKED FROM ONE END
OF THE KINGDOM TO THE OTHER BY
FEARSOME, UH, PRESBYTERIAN
MINISTERS WHO TELL HIM THERE IS
ONLY ONE KING IN SCOTLAND AND
HIS NAME IS CHRIST JESUS THE
LORD, UH, AND A DREADFUL
ARISTOCRACY WHO KIDNAP HIM AND
HOLD HIM TO RANSOM AND BULLY
HIM IN VARIOUS WAYS.
SO HE ARRIVES IN ENGLAND AS ONE
MAN SAYS AT THE TIME, “LIKE A
MAN WANDERING 40 YEARS IN THE
WILDERNESS WHO HAS AT LAST
SIGHTED THE LAND OF PROMISE.”
ENGLAND IS RICH, THE ENGLISH
ENGLAND IS RICH, THE ENGLISH
CROWN IS EMBEDDED IN AND
SUPPORTED BY THE CHURCH.
EVERYTHING ABOUT ENGLAND SORT
OF PROMISES WELL, BUT THERE IS
THIS ISSUE OF THE UNRESOLVED
REFORMATION.
AND THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS A
CENTRAL MECHANISM IN JAMES'
ATTEMPT TO NOT TO RESOLVE THAT
ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, NOT TO
PUSH IT ONE WAY OR THE OTHER,
BUT TO MAKE A BIG TENT.
HE IS A BIG TENT POLITICIAN.
AND THE, HE DEFINES HIS BIG
TENT BY EXCLUDING THE LUNATICS
AND ON ONE HAND THE LUNATICS
ARE THE EXTREME CATHOLICS WHO,
UH, WANT TO BLOW HIM UP IN the gunpowder PLOT, A
TERRIBLE, TERRIFYING EVENT FOR
17TH CENTURY, UH, EARLY 17TH
CENTURY ENGLAND, A SERIOUS SORT
OF DISRUPTION TO THE WELL-BEING
OF THE ESTABLISHMENT AS I THINK
THE 9-11 INCIDENT HERE.
I MEAN IT WAS A REALLY, REALLY,
UH, FRIGHTENING EVENT IN WHICH
THE KING, THE QUEEN, EVERY
PRINCE, EVERY PRINCESS, EVERY
PEER OF THE REALM, EVERY
BISHOP, EVERY MEMBER OF
PARLIAMENT WAS WITHIN A FEW
HOURS BEING BLOWN UP.
IT IS A SORT OF--IT IS A TOTAL
ERASURE OF THE ENGLISH
POLITICAL CLASS THAT WAS
INTENDED AND THOSE PEOPLE CAN
BE CLEARLY SHUT OUT AS THEY
WERE.
THEY WERE SHUT OUT, PURSUED,
HARRIED, TORTURED, UH, EXECUTED
IN NAUSEATING PUBLIC WAYS ON
THE ONE HAND.
ON THE OTHER HAND THE EXTREME
PROTESTANTS, THE SEPARATISTS OR
CONGREGATIONALISTS, AS THEY
WERE LATER CALLED, WHO ARE THE
PROTO-AMERICANS--

[Audience laughs]

Adam continues I'VE JUST COME FROM A
WEEK IN AMERICA AND THIS IS
ALWAYS A TRICKY PASSAGE IN THE
STORY.

[Audience laughs]

Adam continues THE SEPARATISTS WHO OF
COURSE LEFT IN 1608 FOR THE LOW
COUNTRIES AND THEN WENT FROM
THERE TO MASSACHUSETTS, THE
PROGENITORS OF THE PILGRIM
FATHERS CANNOT ACCEPT THAT
THERE IS ANY ROYAL PLACE IN THE
CHURCH.
THEY CANNOT ACCEPT, IN
FACT, THAT THERE SHOULD BE ANY
SUCH THING AS A CHURCH
HIERARCHY.
THEY NEED THE SORT OF PURE,
PROTESTANT IDEA OF A KIND OF
INTRAVENOUS RELATIONSHIP WITH
GOD, AN ABSOLUTELY DIRECT THING
WITH A NEEDLE AS THE WORD OF GOD.
UH, CLEARLY ANY, ANY KING
CANNOT ACCEPT THAT SO THEIR
OUT.
SO HE SHUTS OUT THE EXTREMES
AND BUILDS A BROAD CENTRE AND
THE INSTRUMENT AND SORT OF, UH,
ALMOST CRYSTALLIZATION OF THAT
BROAD CENTRE IS THE KING JAMES
BIBLE ITSELF.
HE HIRES THROUGH HIS
ARCHBISHOP, RICHARD BANCROFT,
50 DIVINES, OR 5O ODD DIVINES,
THE NUMBER IS A LITTLE
UNCERTAIN, AND, UM, FROM A
BROAD SPREAD OF OPINION, SOME,
SOME MODERATE PURITANS IN
THERE, SOME SERIOUSLY
AUTHORITARIAN VIRTUALLY
CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND THE WHOLE
RANGE IN BETWEEN AND
COMMISSIONED A BIBLE FROM THEM
IT'S A VERY BRILLIANTLY
ORGANIZED, BUREAUCRATIC SCHEME
WITH VERY STRICT RULES, VERY
SORT OF CLEVER SYSTEM OF SORT
OF BROAD GATHERING OF
SCHOLARSHIP, A SORT OF MOUTH OF
THE NET SO TO SPEAK AND LOTS OF
FILTERS AND BAFFLES IN THE
EDITORIAL PROCESS SO THAT A
VERY KINGLY BOOK COMES OUT AT
THE END.
UH, THE MAIN INSTRUMENT I THINK
BY WHICH THE, UH, THE KING
JAMES BIBLE DOES THIS; THE WAY
IN WHICH IT SORT OF EMBODIES
THE WHOLE BREADTH OF OPINION IS
ACTUALLY RHETORICAL.
IN A WAY THAT'S ALL THE
TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE CAN
DO.
IT'S HAS TO TRANSLATE THE
ORIGINAL TEXT, BUT THE WAY IT
TRANSLATES, THE RHETORIC OF
IT'S TRANSLATION IS THE WAY IN
WHICH IT CAN BE MADE TO MEAN
DIFFERENT THINGS.
NOW EARLIER ENGLISH BIBLES HAD
BEEN VERY PURITAN AND VERY SORT
OF CLEAR AND VERY HARD, VERY
KIND OF, UH, UNMUSICAL.
THE KING JAMES BIBLE AIMS TO BE
BOTH AS CLEAR AND ACCESSIBLE
AND AS TRUE TO THE ORIGINAL AS
THAT, VERY CAREFUL SCHOLARSHIP
BY VERY SKILLED PEOPLE.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THAT
GREAT CLARITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
IS SET IN A FRAME OF GREAT
RHYTHMICAL BEAUTY.
THAT IT'S--IT HAS A
SIMPLE VOCABULARY AND A
MAJESTIC WAY OF USING THAT
VOCABULARY AND THAT IS A KIND
OF--THAT IS RHETORIC WHICH, UM,
ACTUALLY SORT OF DOES WHAT
MAJESTY, WHAT THE GOOD KING,
WHAT THE IDEA OF A WHOLE
NATION, WHAT A NON-FRANCE,
IN EFFECT WILL BE.
YOU KNOW, IT IS THE
KIND OF INCLUDED BREADTH OF
ENGLAND THAT IS IN THIS BOOK.
AND I THINK THAT, THAT IS WHY
IT HAS REMAINED FOR 400 YEARS.
IT IS ALMOST EXACTLY 400 YEARS
AGO TODAY THAT THE BIBLE WAS
COMMISSIONED.
UH, I THINK THAT, THAT BRIDGING
OF CATEGORIES IS PRECISELY WHY
PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS LOVED THE
KING JAMES BIBLE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

[Audience applauding]

Watch: Adam Nicolson on his book God's Secretaries