The Pilgrim's Progress
John Bunyan was a passionately religious man, imprisoned in 1660 for preaching without a license, and spending most of the next twelve years in jail. It was after his release and during his second imprisonment in 1676 that he seems to have written his most famous and influential work, The Pilgrim's Progress. It is an allegory told by a dreamer, much like certain medieval poems (Pearl is the clearest example). Its full title is The Pilgrim's Progress from this World to that which is to come and is was published in two parts, in 1678 and 1684. The dreamer sees a man, Christian, clothed in rags, with a burden on his back, leaving his house behind in the knowledge that it will burn down. The book he holds in his hands has told him so. He has to flee his family who think he has gone mad and escape the City of Destruction. On the advice of Evangelist he begins a journey through a series of allegorical places: the Slough of Despond, the House Beautiful, the Valley of Humiliation, the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Vanity Fair, Doubting Castle and so on to the Celestial City that he seeks. Each character and place in the dream is given an appropriate name: so Christian meets the goodly Hopeful and Faithful, the cheating Mr Legality and the evil Giant Despair. The format is not unlike that of Spenser's The Faerie Queene in this sense and in that of a divinely inspired journey. The second part concerns the Christiana, Christian's wife, who is inspired to follow on a similar pilgrimage. The Pilgrim's Progress has been so successful and admired that it has been translated into over one hundred languages.
Table of contents
The Pilgrim's Progress in the Similitude of a Dream
The Author's Apology for His Book  
Part 1  
The Author's Way of Sending Forth His Second Part  
Chapter 1  

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