W. Blair Neatbyï¿½s classic study of the Brethren first appeared in 1901. Despite the lapse of a century it remains an invaluable guide to the first seventy years of the Brethren movement, and is likely to appeal to general students of church history, as well as to those with a particular interest in the Brethren. As the author states: The Brethren sought to effect a fresh start without authority, precedent, or guidance beyond the letter of Holy Scriptureï¿½ Such an experiment in the hands of eminent men could scarcely fail to yield a considerable harvest of interest and instructionï¿½ An early reviewer of Neatbyï¿½s History wrote the following commendation: In this most careful and scholarly work Mr. Neatby has traced the history and tenets of the Brethren ï¿½ open and exclusive ï¿½ and it is quite certain that no one could have done the work better. Apart from his vast personal knowledge of his subject, he has had unique opportunities of collecting material from little known or unknown sources. The result is a most valuable history of a sect of which most people are hopelessly ignorant, written in a perfectly easy, readable styleï¿½ Iain Murray has described Neatbyï¿½s work as a "fascinating volume"; "perhaps the most valuable source work on the Brethren"; and has assessed Neatbyï¿½s "critical insights" as "particularly valuable".