Edited by Andrew Atherstone, this critical edition of Ryle's manuscript autobiography, dictated in 1873, is a rich and unparalleled account of the early decades of his life and ministry. He recalls his youthful pursuit of academic plaudits and sporting prowess at Eton College and Oxford University, before his evangelical conversion at the age of 21. He tells of the devastating collapse of the family bank and the enforced sale of their Cheshire estates, which ended his ambitions to enter parliament. Ryle describes his exploits as a young clergyman, his loves and losses, his evangelical networks, and the deaths of his first two wives. He offers a frank assessment of his joys and struggles, and the reasons behind his crucial life choices. Written for his children and never intended for publication, Bishop J.C. Ryle's autobiography is essential reading for a proper appreciation of the man behind the headlines in the years before he reached national and international fame.