JohnBunyan - John Bunyan(1628-1688 Born in Bedford son of a brazier Bunyan learned reading and writing in a village school and entered his fathers

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John Bunyan (1628-1688) Born in Bedford, son of a brazier, Bunyan learned reading and writing in a village school and entered his father’s trade Bunyan was drafted into the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War He married in 1649 to a woman who introduced him to “Puritan” texts such as Dent’s Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven and Bayly’s Practice of Piety In 1653 Bunyan joined a Nonconformist church in Bedford and began preaching He was arrested in 1660 for preaching without a license and spent most of the next 12 years in a Bedford jail; he wrote nine books during his first imprisonment, including Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666) Released in 1672, Bunyan was appointed to preach in the same church and was again arrested in 1676, during which he finished the first part of The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678, 1684) Bunyan published further works during the remainder of his life, including The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680) and The Holy War (1682), a reflection on his experience of the English Civil War
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The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678, 1684) One of the most popular books ever published in English, The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of each human’s journey through the sins of the world to ultimate redemption\ Part 1, published in 1678, narrates the journey of Christian, his temptations and obstacles, and his arrival in the Holy City; Part 2, published in 1684, tells the parallel story of Christian’s wife and children Bunyan’s prose is simple and direct, like the English Bible upon which it is based; everyday material life is carefully represented to give verisimilitude to Christian’s tale, although these same everyday objects and events are charged with allegorical significance (not unlike Piers Plowman ) The Pilgrim’s Progress is a prison narrative as well, written under the emotional strain of separation from family and friends; Bunyan’s persecution following the Restoration and the Acts Against Nonconformity sought by the restored Anglican Church is reflected in the powerful voice of individual acts of faith and the “calling” Alongside the Bible, The Pilgrim’s Progress was on the shelf of even the most humble households, influencing generations of British of all classes
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As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep; and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a man clothes with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back . . . I looked and saw him open the book and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, “What shall I do?” In this plight, therefore, he went home and refrained himself as long as
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2011 for the course E 316K taught by Professor Berry during the Spring '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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JohnBunyan - John Bunyan(1628-1688 Born in Bedford son of a brazier Bunyan learned reading and writing in a village school and entered his fathers

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