Adey, Lionel. Class and Idol in the English Hymn. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1987. This history of English hymnody places Watts’s remarkable career in theological and historical perspectives while explaining the role hymns occupied in the church life of eighteenth century England. Adey’s particular contribution is his argument that Watts’s stern Calvinist upbringing determined his portrait of a Father God in his psalms and hymns. Adey’s bibliography is a gold mine of primary sources related to Watts and the hymnody of his era.
Argent, Alan. Isaac Watts: Poet, Thinker, Pastor. London: Congregational Memorial Hall Trust, 1999. A brief biographical study of Watts and his work.
Bailey, Albert Edward. The Gospel in Hymns. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1950. A standard history of gospel hymnody places Watts at the center of the revolution in church music through his “rhymed theology.” Bailey’s extensive catalog of Watts’s hymns, psalms, and poems is especially useful to researchers.
Fountain, David. Isaac Watts Remembered. 1978. 2d ed. Reprint. Southhampton, Hants, England: Mayflower Christian Bookshop, 1998. This biography of Watts examines his life from beginning to end, with an emphasis on his Christian beliefs and how they shaped his life and works.
Hood, John Paxton. Isaac Watts: His Life and Hymns. Greenville, S.C.: Ambassador, 2001. A biography of Watts that examines his life philosophy and religious views and how they informed his hymns.
Maclear, J. F. “Isaac Watts and the Idea of Public Religion.” Journal of the History of Ideas 53, no. 1 (January, 1992): 25. Watts’s ideas about public religion are discussed. Watts developed a comprehensive and detailed formulation of national religion.
Stackhouse, Rachelle A. The Language of the Psalms in Worship: American Revisions of Watts’ Psalter. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1997. Part of the Drew Studies in Liturgy series, this work examines the psalms by Watts and the language used.
Woychuk, N. A. Isaac Watts: The Father of English Hymnology. St. Louis, Mo.: SMF Press, 2002. This biography of Watts looks at him as a writer of hymns.