The Pilgrim's Progress

The Pilgrim's Progress

By: John Bunyan
Published by: Nath. Ponder, At the Peacock in the Poultrey near Cornhil
Publication Date: 1678

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Description

Written by Reformed Baptist preacher John Bunyan in the late seventeenth century, Pilgrim's Progress is, as the author tells us, 'Delivered under the Similitude of a Dream, wherein is discovered the manner of his setting out, his dangerous journey, and safe arrival at the desired country.'  Here we find Christian, the Pilgrim, beset by numerous dangers, trials, and temptations on his journey to the Celestial City. In Part Two we follow Christian's wife, Christiana, and their children as they themselves journey towards the Celestial City, facing many of the same perils and obstacles.

Having served as a cornerstone of Protestant spiritual writings ever since its publication, Pilgrim's Progress embodies much of the Protestant theological ethos. Bunyan even goes so far as to have the Pope lend his title to an enfeebled elderly giant who was once a prolific murderer of Pilgrims.

Pilgrim's Progress also stands as a prime example of religious allegory and has lent so much of itself to our common imagination and parlance that a familiarity with it is necessary in order to truly appreciate many subsequent literary allusions. Without it, how would we make sense of Jo's burden tumbling off her back in Little Women, understand with Anne of Green Gables what it is to be in the depths of (the slough of) despair, or why a certain magazine styles itself Vanity Fair?

Bunyan crafts a world where the struggle between virtue and vice is vividly brought to life in his characters and the places they inhabit. In Christian, he has given us a chance to discover the best and worst in ourselves, to fight our own battles, and to aspire to journey to the Celestial City.  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."

— Written by Johanna Bittle

Reprints

The Pilgrim's Progress Reprint

The Pilgrim's Progress No illustrations
Reprinted in 2003 by Dover Publications
Available formats: Paperback
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The Pilgrim's Progress Reprint

The Pilgrim's Progress
Reprinted in 2007 by Yesterday's Classics
Reprint illustrated by Frederick Alfred Rhead, George Rhead, Louis John Rhead
Available formats: Paperback, Ebook
View on the Yesterday's Classics site
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This edition is an unabridged republication of the work originally published by The Century Company in 1898.


The Pilgrim's Progress Reprint

The Pilgrim's Progress
Reprinted in 2014 by Calla Editions (Imprint of Dover Publications)
Reprint illustrated by Frederick Alfred Rhead, George Rhead, Louis John Rhead
Available formats: Hardcover
View on the Calla Editions (Imprint of Dover Publications) site
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This collectible hardcover masterfully re-creates the most glorious edition ever published of Bunyan's influential 17th-century classic.
Louis Rhead and his brothers, George and Frederick, collaborated on this project, which includes an enormous amount of black-and-white artwork, including over 35 full-page illustrations, dozens of smaller motifs, and fabulously ornamented borders for each page of text.



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