At the beginning of the twentieth century, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was one of Britain's most popular and acclaimed composers. The illegitimate child of an African doctor, Coleridge-Taylor managed to escape his humble roots by studying composition at the Royal College of Music, where he won a scholarship in 1893. Though he composed mainly for piano and violin, his Song of Hiawatha was performed nationwide for choir and orchestra to great critical acclaim. He died from pneumonia at the age of thirty-seven. Green's study is more than a biography of an Anglo-African composer. Using a wide range of public and private records, this extensively researched work becomes a social history based around an artist who lived at the height of British imperialism. The first comprehensive study of Coleridge-Taylor's life for almost a century, it reveals how class-ridden Britain could embrace even the most unlikely of cultural icons.
The book in many ways is not a religious book. It is a book about God and our relationship with him. The author does not profess to have any spiritual contact with God, but his life's experience seem to have channeled his mind and thoughts to a God who is so different to our image of God that most religions have today. Fear seems to be the guiding force behind most religions, but fear of God plays no part in the God the author portrays. The life that we live on this earth is a separate life that plays no part in the life we go to when we die. The book opens up a new world for us to live in. A world in which all nationalities could come together as a family and live at last in harmony and peace.