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This book is the first comprehensive guide to Holst's orchestral suite The Planets. It considers the music in detail and places the work in its historical context, describing the circumstances of its composition and its meteoric rise to popular acclaim. Starting with Holst's particular interest in astrology, Greene reveals a profound statement of human character and Holst's own psychological journey toward the mystical state. Using parallels in the verbal and visual arts, Greene weaves here a fascinating tale of musical communication.