- February 1999 · 328pages · 216x138mm
- ·Hardback - 9780708314685
This is the first scholarly biography of Hugh Price Hughes, the most influential Methodist leader in Britain during the late nineteenth century. Hailed as a second Wesley, Hughes reformed and revitalised Methodism and shaped ‘Nonconformist Conscience’ in the final decades of the nineteenth century. The author traces Hughes’s career from his childhood in Wales and his conversion at the age of thirteen, to his Presidency of the Council of Evangelical Free Churches and the Wesleyan Methodist Church just before his death of a stroke at the age of fifty-five. He championed a new concern for social reform and political activism among Methodists and other Nonconformists. His gifts as an orator, organiser and journalist made him a very well-known, if controversial figure in Britain and throughout the Empire. The author analyses the origins and development of his ideas and the innovative means he sought to put them into practice. This biography sheds new light on the history of Victorian Methodism as well as British Social Christianity, the reasons for the fall of Charles Stuart Parnell, the origins of the ecumenical movement and the political and social ideals of Nonconformity in Victorian and Edwardian Britain.
'... a judicious and penetrating work that will form an essential basis for any future understanding of Hugh Price Hughes, Methodism, or the social gospel in England.' (Journal of Religious History)
'...this full and lively volume[...]its fluent prose and plentiful detail make it an indispensible contribution to the study of British religion and society in the last three decades of the nineteenth century.' (Journal of Ecclesiastical History) '[a] very readable and stimulating study...a notable achievement...deserves to stimulate further research into the relationship between religion and politics in late Victorian England.' Social History Bulletin