John Bunyan

Easton Press John Bunyan books

The Pilgrim's Progress - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1979

Franklin Library John Bunyan books

The Pilgrim's Progress - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1976
The Pilgrim's Progress - World's Best Loved Books - 1981

John Bunyan biography

John Bunyan, (1628-88), was a British author and preacher, born in Elstow, near Bedford. He served an apprenticeship as a tinker, and at about the age of seventeen, during the British Civil War, fought in the Parliamentary Army. About 1648 he married a member of one of the numerous Puritan sects of his day, and in 1653 joined her church and became one of its leaders. In 1649, Bunyan married his first wife, Mary, and they had four children. Tragedy struck the family with Mary's death in 1658, leaving Bunyan a widower with young children. He remarried in 1659 to Elizabeth, with whom he had two more children. Bunyan's religious fervor led him to become a preacher, and he began addressing small congregations in Bedfordshire. However, his refusal to conform to the guidelines set by the Church of England led to his imprisonment for a total of twelve years, from 1660 to 1672, during the period of the Restoration when non-conformist religious activities were restricted. 

It was during one of these imprisonments that Bunyan penned his masterpiece, The Pilgrim's Progress, which was published in two parts, in 1678 and 1684, respectively. The allegorical novel, written in the form of a dream, follows the journey of Christian as he travels from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, encountering various challenges and characters along the way. The Pilgrim's Progress became one of the most widely read and translated works of English literature, leaving an enduring impact on Christian allegory. Upon his release from prison in 1672, Bunyan resumed his preaching and writing. He authored numerous other works, including The Holy War (1682) and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666), an autobiographical work detailing his spiritual struggles.

During the late 1650s he became one of the most popular preachers of the period, speaking to large audiences drawn from all the Puritan sects. After the Restoration, however, it was declared illegal to conduct divine service except in accordance with the forms of the Established Church. John Bunyan, who persisted in his irregular preaching, was confined in Beadford county jail for twelve years (1660-72); although during part of this time he was allowed a large degree of freedom and was able to support his family by making tagged laces. While in prison, John Bunyan's library consisted of the Bible and the Book of Martyrs by the English theologian John Foxe. Studying the content and literary style of these works, John Bunyan began to write religious tracts and pamphlets. Before his release he wrote the first of his major works, the spiritual autobiography Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666). In 1675 John Bunyan was again imprisoned, for a period of six months, and at that time he probably wrote the major part of his masterpiece, The Pilgrims Progress, an allegory in prose (first part published 1678; second, 1684). Ten editions of this great work, with additions and modifications, were printed during John Bunyan's lifetime, and it eventually became the most widely read of all books in English after the Bible.

 John Bunyan's life was dedicated to his faith and the written word. His influence extends not only through his powerful sermons and theological writings but also through the enduring legacy of The Pilgrim's Progress. He passed away on August 31, 1688, in London, leaving behind a literary masterpiece that continues to resonate with readers seeking spiritual guidance and insight into the human condition.


The Pilgrim's Progress

This famous story of man's progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim's trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City.
Along a road filled with monsters and spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful.
An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim's Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language.

Christian, an every man character, is the protagonist of the allegory, which centers itself in his journey from his hometown, the City of Destruction (this world), to the Celestial City (that which is to come: Heaven). The allegorical quest for faith-avoiding the Slough of Despond, escaping the temptations of Vanity Fair, and fending off the giant, Despair.


The Pilgrim’s Progress is widely considered the best novel ever written in the English language , and since its publication in 1678 has found a home on the bookshelves and bedside tables of Christians for centuries. Second only to the bible itself in popularity at one point in time, this timeless piece of literature has been a favorite among renowned authors such as C.S Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitfield, and many others. This collector's edition Presented in a dream sequence, The Pilgrim’s Progress chronicles the story of a man named Christian who sets out on a life-long quest to find the Celestial City. His journey to faith begins from the City of Destruction, through Slough of Despond, the Hill of Difficulty, the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair and over the River of the Water of Life before reaching his final destination. As you walk with Christian along his often hazardous pilgrimage you will meet fascinating characters, some of whom help him, whilst others hinder his journey along the narrow way. Written as a powerful allegory of the Christian life, you will likely see yourself and your own life’s journey mirrored within the story and its hero whilst being inspired and provoked to persevere in your walk of faith.

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