Green calf binding with brown title plate, gilt decoration, banding and title on the spine. Gilt decorative edging on the boards. All edges gilt.
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This worthy & lovely book is being restored by Brian Cole to near perfect condition.
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 theological fiction in English literature and a progenitor of the narrative aspect of Christian media. It has been translated into more than 200 languages and never been out of print. It appeared in Dutch in 1681, in German in 1703 and in Swedish in 1727. The first North American edition was issued in 1681. It has also been cited as the first novel written in English. According to literary editor Robert McCrum, “there’s no book in English, apart from the Bible, to equal Bunyan’s masterpiece for the range of its readership, or its influence on writers as diverse as William Hogarth, C. S. Lewis, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, George Bernard Shaw, William Thackeray, Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and Enid Blyton. The words on which the hymn “To be a Pilgrim” is based, come from the novel.
Bunyan began his work while in the Bedfordshire county prison for violations of the Conventicle Act of 1664, 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. 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.
John Bunyan ( was an English writer and Puritan preacher. He was baptised 30th November 1628 and lived until 31st August 1688. He is best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, which also became an influential literary model. In addition to The Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons.
Bunyan came from the village of Elstow, near Bedford. He had some schooling and, at the age of sixteen, joined the Parliamentary Army at Newport Pagnell during the first stage of the English Civil War. After three years in the army, he returned to Elstow and took up the trade of tinker, which he had learned from his father. He became interested in religion after his marriage, attending first the parish church and then joining the Bedford Meeting, a nonconformist group in St John’s church Bedford, and later became a preacher. After the restoration of the monarchy, when the freedom of nonconformists was curtailed, Bunyan was arrested and spent the next twelve years in prison because he refused to give up preaching. During this time, he wrote a spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, and began work on his most famous book, The Pilgrim’s Progress.
In 1676, Charles II withdrew his Act of Indulgence and four years later, Bunyan was again imprisoned – this time only for six months. During that time, he completed The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Bunyan’s later years were spent in relative comfort and he continued to be a popular author and preacher, and was the pastor of the Bedford Meeting. He died aged 59 after falling ill on a journey to London and is buried in Bunhill Fields. The Pilgrim’s Progress became one of the most published books in the English language; 1,300 editions had been printed by 1938, 250 years after the author’s death.
Bunyan is remembered in the Church of England with a Lesser Festival on 30 August. Some other churches of the Anglican Communion, such as the Anglican Church of Australia, honour him on the day of his death (31 August).
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