Ian Hislop finds out why women - excluded from much of Victorian society - wrote so many famous hymns.
From August 2003.
Ian Hislop finds out why Victorian women wrote so many famous hymns.
The hymns from the Victorian age are distinctive, memorable and eminently hum-able.
But they have something else in common - the vast majority of them were written by women.
In an era when women were excluded from many parts of society, hymnody became a preserve of creative, devout and often very colourful women.
Ian Hislop goes to church to decode the lives and the works of these remarkable but historically invisible ladies of song.