As promised, here's another review of a book on the KJV. Published to coincide with the anniversary, this is one of the first out of the starting blocks. By Gordon Campbell, a Leicester based Renaissance studies professor, it is called The Bible: The Story of the King James Version, 1611-2011. It is a comprehensive history telling the story of the KJV from inception to current status. It's focus is on history and literature.
We begin with a brief history of English translation (Pre-reformation, Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, Great, Geneva, Bishops, Douai-Rheims). Next is the chapter on the commissioning of the work, the gathering of scholars and the plan of action. Campbell has spent time looking at the annotated Bishop's Bible in the Bodleian Library that reveals something of the translators' approach. We then have a history of publication down the ages, 1769 being the key date for consolidation. he also gives soething of the history of subsequent translations, at least those that relate back to the KJV in some way (RV, RSV, etc). One is struck by what a complex thing it is to put out a translation of the Bible. By this stage it is not entirely clear what the original text might be but even from the beginning there were issues (as epitomised by the the contrasting so-called He Bible and She Bible that appeared right at the beginning). This is only truly disconcerting for the few who give the KJV reverence way above that which it should ever have been given. For the rest of us, it is interesting and shows that things are seldom quite what they might at first appear to be.
With plenty of illustrations this thorough, well written book, also gives the companies and later revisers and the KJV preliminaries in two useful appendices as well as an index and a list of books for further reading.