To build Jerusalem/In England’s green and pleasant land....
‘Jerusalem’ has become one of the best-known poems in the English language. Set to music, it has become one of the best known songs in English national culture. But it has a strange and complicated history, mystical and radical, and the story explains a little how it came to strike such a powerful chord with the nation, uniting left and right, republicans and monarchists alike?
This short book tells how the poet William Blake wrote the words, which stayed obscure for the rest of the century, only for the verses to take centre stage in a strange campaign to keep the First World War principled – and to win votes for women. It is a compelling story of the verses, the song and the people behind what is rapidly becoming the new anthem for England and the English.