The Pilgrim's Progress
Overview - The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come is a 1678 Christian allegory written by John Bunyan. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print. Read more...
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More About The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyon
The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come is a 1678 Christian allegory written by John Bunyan. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print. It has also been cited as the first novel written in English. Bunyan began his work while in the Bedfordshire county prison for violations of the Conventicle Act, which prohibited the holding of religious services outside the auspices of the established Church of England. Early Bunyan scholars such as John Brown believed The Pilgrim's Progress was begun in Bunyan's second, shorter imprisonment for six months in 1675, but more recent scholars such as Roger Sharrock believe that it was begun during Bunyan's initial, more lengthy imprisonment from 1660 to 1672 right after he had written his spiritual autobiography Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. The English text comprises 108,260 words and is divided into two parts, each reading as a continuous narrative with no chapter divisions. The first part was completed in 1677 and entered into the Stationers' Register on 22 December 1677. It was licensed and entered in the "Term Catalogue" on 18 February 1678, which is looked upon as the date of first publication. 10] After the first edition of the first part in 1678, an expanded edition, with additions written after Bunyan was freed, appeared in 1679. The Second Part appeared in 1684. There were eleven editions of the first part in John Bunyan's lifetime, published in successive years from 1678 to 1685 and in 1688, and there were two editions of the second part, published in 1684 and 1686. The allegory of this book has antecedents in a large number of Christian devotional works that speak of the soul's path to Heaven, from the Lyke-Wake Dirge forward. Bunyan's allegory stands out above his predecessors because of his simple and effective prose style, steeped in Biblical texts and cadences. He confesses his own na vet in the verse prologue to the book: "I did not think To shew to all the World my Pen and Ink In such a mode; I only thought to make I knew not what: nor did I undertake Thereby to please my Neighbour; no not I; I did it mine own self to gratifie." Bunyan's inspiration? Due to many similarities - some more definite than others - it could be argued that he had access to Dante's Commedia. The Pilgrim's Progress may therefore be a distillation of the entire 'pilgrimage' that the 14th Century Italian penned. Because of the widespread longtime popularity of The Pilgrim's Progress, Christian's hazards - whether originally from Bunyan or borrowed by him from the Bible-the "Slough of Despond," the "Hill Difficulty," "Valley of the Shadow of Death," "Doubting Castle," and the "Enchanted Ground," his temptations (the wares of "Vanity Fair" and the pleasantness of "By-Path Meadow"), his foes ("Apollyon" and "Giant Despair"), and the helpful stopping places he visits (the "House of the Interpreter," the "House Beautiful," the "Delectable Mountains," and the "Land of Beulah") have become commonly used phrases proverbial in English. For example, "One has one's own Slough of Despond to trudge through." The Pilgrim's Progress was much more popular than its predecessors. Bunyan's plain style breathes life into the abstractions of the anthropomorphized temptations and abstractions that Christian encounters and with whom he converses on his course to Heaven. Samuel Johnson said that "this is the great merit of the book, that the most cultivated man cannot find anything to praise more highly, and the child knows nothing more amusing." Three years after its publication (1681), it was reprinted in colonial America, and was widely read in the Puritan colonies.
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- ISBN-13: 9781500239244
- ISBN-10: 1500239240
- Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- Publish Date: June 2014
- Page Count: 166
- Dimensions: 9.02 x 5.98 x 0.35 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.51 pounds