Hugh Stowell Brown was born on the Isle of Man in 1823 where his father was an Anglican minister. After some youthful exploration he determined that he would also become a minister of religion, but not in the established church. He was appointed minister of the Myrtrle Street Baptist Church in Liverpool and there he achieved some considerable fame for his preaching and commitment to good works.
Towards the end of his life (he died in 1886) he wrote his autobiography, unintended for publication, but nevertheless rushed into print by his son-in-law William Caine MP.
It is perhaps as well. Brown’s account covers a very important period in 19th century history, beginning with the creation of a railway system and closing when Britain was “the workshop of the world” and Liverpool was one of its most important ports.
His account is very readable. He speaks directly to the reader free of any Victorian tendency to ponderous sentences, and this may partly explain his success as a preacher during his lifetime.
The book is being re-published in this edition because of its value to social historians of the Victorian age.
The book, which includes a preface by broadcaster Wayne Clarke, will be published on 29 September 2020.