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On this Day: Pilgrim's Progress author dies


John Bunyan died at age 59 on August 31, 1688. He wrote most of The Pilgrim's Progress while in prison. He had been imprisoned for violations of the Conventicle Act, which prohibited the holding of religious services outside the auspices of the established Church of England.

Bunyan became interested in religion after his marriage. He joined the Bedford Meeting, a nonconformist group in Bedford, England, and becoming a preacher. After the restoration of the monarch, when the freedom of nonconformists was curtailed, Bunyan was arrested and spent the next twelve years in jail as he refused to undertake to give up preaching. During this time he wrote a spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, and began work on his most famous book, The Pilgrim's Progress, which was not published until some years after his release.

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 Buyan's death. It has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.

There have also been several interesting video adaptations:


John Bunyon, Pilgrim's Progress


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