By James Anthony Froude
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:November 2011
Original Publication Year:1879
Subjects: Renaissance and early modern literature , English literature: general interest
John Bunyan (1628–88), the Bedfordshire tinker and non-conformist preacher, is best known for writing The Pilgrim's Progress. Published in 1880 in the first series of English Men of Letters, this revealing biography by J. A. Froude (1818–94), historian and friend and biographer of Thomas Carlyle, traces Bunyan's life from his troubled childhood to his early spiritual experiences, his career as a dissenting minister and his imprisonment (during which he contemplated and wrote many of his works) for preaching unlawfully. Setting The Pilgrim's Progress within the context of Bunyan's life, Froude argues that the struggles of its 'hero', Christian, to overcome temptation and sin reflected Bunyan's personal turmoil as he was plagued with guilt and self-doubt, feelings that were only further compounded upon his religious conversion. Froude's study can be read with interest today by scholars of theology and literature alike.