"The book presents research on the English social and cultural contexts of Handel's oratorios, topics usually treated as peripheral in traditional studies, which relate his librettos primarily to their musical settings." Choice
In this wide-r anging and challenging book, Ruth Smith claims that the words to Handel's oratorios reflect the events and ideas of their time and have far greater meaning than has hitherto been realised. She explores eighteenth-century literature, music, aesthetics, politics and religion to reveal Handel's texts as conduits for the thought and sensibility of their time. The book thus enriches our understanding of Handel, his times, and the close relationship between music and its intellectual contexts.