John Bunyan (1628 – 1688) was an English writer and Baptist preacher best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. In addition to The Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons. Bunyan’s later years, in spite of another shorter term of imprisonment, were spent in relative comfort as a popular author and preacher, and 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 having been printed by 1938, 250 years after the author’s death.
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The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come; Delivered under the Similitude of a Dream 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. 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.
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