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Sabine Baring-Gould

British Victorian novelist, and collector of folk-song, the Reverend William Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) was an eclectic scholar. His family home, Lewtrenchard Manor, has been successfully preserved and is today a hotel.

His collection of west-country folk-music, The Songs of the West, has helped to preserve for later generations many beautiful pieces of music and their lyrics which otherwise would have been lost to time.

He was the author of many novels and also the biographer of the eccentric poet-vicar of Morwenstow, Robert Stephen Hawker.

Baring-Gould is particularly remembered as a writer of hymns, the best-known being the classic, Onward, Christian Soldiers.

Baring-Gould's grandson, William Stuart Baring-Gould, was a noted Sherlock Holmes scholar who wrote a fictional biography of the great detective - in which, to make up for the lack of information about Holmes's early life, he based his account of Holmes's formative years on the childhood of the Reverend Baring-Gould.