Includes bibliographical references (p. 438-466) and index.
Pt. I. English Origins of English Oratorio. 1. Artistic norms. 2. The purpose of art. 3. Music, morals and religion. 4. The biblical sublime. 5. The survival of epic. 6. The defence of Christianity. 7. Towards oratorio -- Pt. II. The Patriot Libretto from the Excise Bill to the Jew Bill: Israelite Oratorios and English Politics. 8. Political events and political thought. 9. Allegorical politics. 10. Moral politics. 11. Esther to Athalia. 12. In time of war. 13. Images of government. 14. The conflict of public and private interests. 15. Coda: the end of Handel's Israelite oratorios -- Appendix 1 Libretto authors and sources -- Appendix 2 The oratorios and Methodism.