The great echoing phrases of the King James Bible that have boomed through the English-speaking mind for 400 years - an eye for an eye . . . eat, drink and be merry . . . . death, where is thy sting? . . . man shall not live by bread alone - are largely the work of a man whose genius for words matches Shakespeare. But William Tyndale, the young Gloucestershire tutor who wrote them, paid for them with his life. He was persecuted, exiled and eventually burned at the stake. Book of Fire is the thrilling, moving story of the man who first translated the word of God into the English vernacular. Tyndale did so in defiance of church and state, hunted by the implacable enmity and the agents of the sainted Thomas More. He was finally betrayed, but by then his courage and poetic instinct had provided the backbone of the single most significant work in the English language. The Tudor heretic had changed the literary, religious and political landscape for ever.