John Bunyan was a major figure in seventeenth-century Puritan literature, and one deeply embroiled in the religious upheavals of his times. This Companion considers all his major texts, including The Pilgrim's Progress and his autobiography Grace Abounding. The essays, by leading Bunyan scholars, place these and his other works in the context of seventeenth-century history and literature. They discuss such key issues as the publication of dissenting works, the history of the book, gender, the relationship between literature and religion, between literature and early modern radicalism, and the reception of seventeenth-century texts. Other chapters assess Bunyan's importance for the development of allegory, life-writing, the early novel and children's literature. This Companion provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to an author with an assured and central place in English literature.
• Comprehensive chronology which helps to situate Bunyan's work in the context of seventeenth-century literature • Examines all the major works, allowing in-depth study • Offers a clear overview of the contextual basis for Bunyan's work, as well as exploring how Bunyan's fame grew both chronologically and geographically
Notes on contributors; List of abbreviations; Note on the text; Chronology; Introduction Anne Dunan-Page; Part I. John Bunyan in his Seventeenth-Century Context: 1. John Bunyan's literary life N. H. Keeble; 2. John Bunyan and Restoration literature Nigel Smith; 3. John Bunyan and the Bible W. R. Owens; 4. John Bunyan and the goodwives of Bedford: a psychoanalytic approach Vera J. Camden; Part II. John Bunyan's Major Works: 5. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: John Bunyan and spiritual autobiography Michael Davies; 6. The Pilgrim's Progress and the line of allegory Roger Pooley; 7. Bunyan and the early novel: The Life and Death of Mr. Badman Stuart Sim; 8. Militant religion and politics in The Holy War David Walker; 9. A Book for Boys and Girls: Or, Country Rhimes for Children: Bunyan and literature for children Shannon Murray; Part III. Readership and Reception: 10. Posthumous Bunyan: early lives and the development of the canon Anne Dunan-Page; 11. The Victorians and Bunyan's legacy Emma Mason; 12. Bunyan: colonial, postcolonial Isabel Hofmeyr; Further reading; Index.
'these essays represent the latest thinking and scholarship in the world of Bunyan studies … let us be grateful for the appreciative and informative twenty-first century approaches evident in this Companion.' Language and Literature
'For Bunyan, the bible was the only book that really mattered, and all of his writings are permeated by its language - generally that of the King James bible, but also that of Tyndale and the Geneva Bible. Bunyan explains his own encounter with the Scriptures in his autobiographical writings.' International Review of Biblical Studies