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John Bunyan was born in 1628. In 1644 he was caught up in the Civil War and drafted into the Parliamentary army. Four years later he entered a period of intense spiritual struggle (chronicled in Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners), after which he emerged a new man. He joined a Nonconformist church and began to preach. Bunyan spent many years in prison because of his faith and during this time began writing The Pilgrim's Progress. The first part was published in 1678 and the second part, together with the whole work, was published in 1684. Bunyan died in 1688.
Author Image: John Bunyan - British Library, London, UK/ Bridgeman Art Library
Bunyan wrote the first part of "The Pilgrim's Progress" when he was in prison for conducting unauthorized Baptist religious services outside of the Church of England. It was published in 1678; the second part was published in 1684. In Bunyan's hands a pious tract is transformed into a work of imaginative literature whose influence, both indirectly on the English consciousness and directly on the literature that followed, has been immeasurable.The rich countryman's phrases that Bunyan borrowed or invented have become enshrined in the language, and many of the characters he created to people his imaginary world have won for themselves an independent and unforgettable existence.
Composed and published while John Bunyan (1628-1688) was in prison for his religious principles, "Grace Abounding" is an extraordinary spiritual autobiography. It was written in an age when religious radicalism was regarded as socially subversive, and is a haunting, often harrowing and ultimately inspiring account of his inner life: his long struggle with and eventual triumph over doubt and despair, his spiritual regeneration and his subsequent emergence as a preacher and writer of great imaginative power. God and Satan are the chief protagonists in Bunyan's drama, existing not as theological concepts but as terrifyingly immediate adversaries in the competition for his soul.Yet he finds his spiritual defences in the Bible, and "Grace Abounding" charts his passionate and imaginative involvement with this ultimate source of wisdom.
An adaptation (not a re-telling) of Pilgrim's Progress for younger readers. Faithful to the original, Bunyan's allegory is brought skilfully to a new readership. Traditional illustrations complement the text12 colour plates by Harold Copping and others including Barnard, Engravings by Dalziel, Linton and others The story has been kept as near as possible to the original: adapting, simplifying and condensing, but keeping the beauty of the phrasing wherever possible.
John Bunyan could be said to have authored the most influential book in the English language (other than the King James Bible) - The Pilgrim's Progress. But he has also written another dramatic allegorical novel - The Holy War. Bunyan's plan for his readers was for them to experience the struggles of the city of Mansoul as a fierce battle rages to take control of it. However, alongside this knife-edge drama Bunyan wished his readers to understand how the struggles of their souls ran in parallel to the struggles of the wretched inhabitants of that place. The righteous and honourable ruler Shaddai and his son Immanuel rule Mansoul with justice and equity. But the ruler of darkness - Prince Diabolus - has other plans. With his evil captains and their battalions Diabolus plots the fall and destruction of the once happy city. The first to fall is Captain Resistance as Diabolus knows that there is only one route into the city and that it can only be breached through the permission of the people of Mansoul itself. With Captain Resistance gone, the city is laid open to Diabolic lies and the next to fall is Lord Innocency and then the city is lost. So begins a story of treachery and deceit, foolishness and pride, forgiveness and final redemption. In fact this is, as Bunyan intended it, the story of a sinner saved by the grace of God.
John Bunyan could be said to have authored the most influential book in the English language (other than the King James Bible) but The Pilgrim's Progress is so much more than an historic novel. It was written in two parts. The first (and most famous) part involves Pilgrim leaving his wife and children and risking everything to get to the heavenly city. The second part, which this book is, tells the story of how his wife and children follow him to reach the same destination. Bunyan wants you to travel through this book as an adventure through the Christian life - retold on paper and in pictures. This sequel has an equal place in the hearts of those that read it. Some regard it as even better - though it isn't so well known. If you haven't read Christiana's story before then you will enjoy a new set of challenges to overcome as Christian's wife and children make their way to the heavenly city. Yet again Bunyan's imaginative text brings out practical and necessary lessons that everyone needs to know - both yesterday and today.Additional features and study sections have been included to help today's generation to understand the book. These will help you to get behind some of the characters and places described. There is a 'life summary' of Bunyan and some ideas on how to use this book. Some archaic words have been changed to modern equivalents but most of the difficult words are dealt with by using a dictionary and footnotes.This means that although Christiana and her family talk like the medieval travellers they are, you can understand what they're on about!