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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $14.50
  • October 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92771-9
  • 512 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Pilgrim's Progress

Norton Critical Editions


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John Bunyan (Author), Cynthia Wall (Editor, University of Virginia)


As featured on PBS’s The Great American Read

John Bunyan was a Baptist preacher and author with little education but much vision and purpose.

Briefly imprisoned for preaching without a license, he is believed to have begun writing the most famous Christian allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, while in jail. The Pilgrim’s Progress was published in 1678 (Part I) and 1684 (Part II). Edited and annotated with the student reader in mind, this Norton Critical Edition is the indispensable guide to the language, allusions, and historical references of this challenging text. An unusually rich “Contexts” section is thematically organized in four sections: “Biographical,” “Geographical and Visual,” “Theological and Literary,” and “Abridgements and Adaptation,” and includes eleven essential visuals. “Criticism” collects twenty major essays spanning two hundred years of thinking and writing about The Pilgrim’s Progress, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, George Bernard Shaw, F. R. Leavis, Dorothy Van Ghent, J. Paul Hunter, Stanley Fish, Barbara A. Johnson, and Cynthia Wall, among others.



    List of Illustrations

    A Note on the Text

    The Text of The Pilgrim’s Progress

    1. Frontispiece to Part I (1678)
    2. The Author’s Apology For His Book
    3. The Pilgrim’s Progress: In the Similitude of a Dream
    4. The Conclusion
    5. Frontispiece to Part II (1684)
    6. The Author’s way of Sending Forth His Second Part of the Pilgrim
    7. The Pilgrim’s Progress in the Similitude of a Dream, The Second Part



    1. John Bunyan, from Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666)
    2. Charles Doe, The Life and Death of Mr. John Bunyan (1708)


    1. Map of Elstow, Bedfordshire
    2. John Brown, from Bunyan’s Home (1890)
    3. Advertisement to the sixth edition (1681)
    4. “London to Aberistwith,” from John Ogilby, Britannia (1675)
    5. “A Plan of the Road from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City” (c.1780)
    6. “House Beautiful,” from the X edition (17xx), engraving by J. Sturt
    7. “Doubting Castle,” from the X edition (17xx), engraving by J. Sturt
    8. “Christiana and her Children at Supper in the Interpreter’s House,” from the X edition (17xx), engraving by J. Sturt
    9. “Christian and Apollyon,” from 19thC chapbook
    10. “Faithful’s martyrdom and Giant Despair,” from 19thC chapbook
    11. “Palace Beautiful,” from 19thC chapbook
    12. Emily A. Rudd, Dramatised Scenes from “The Pilgrim’s Progress” (1912)


    1. John Foxe, from Actes and Monuments (The Book of Martyrs), 1563, 1641, 1741
    2. Arthur Dent, from The Plaine Mans Path-way to Heaven (1601)
    3. Lewis Bayly, from The Practice of Piety (1612)
    4. John Bunyan, from The Doctrine of Law and Grace Unfolded (1659)
    5. Robert Boyle, from Occasional Reflections (1665; 1669), “A Discourse Touching Occasional Meditations”; “Upon his manner of giving Meat to his Dog”; “Upon his Paring of a rare Summer-Apple”; “Upon hearing of a Lute first tun’d, and then excellently play’d on.” [8]
    6. Joseph Hall, from Occasionall Meditations (1630): “On a fair prospect”; “Vpon occasion of a Spider in his Window”; “Vpon the sight of a Crow pulling off wooll from the backe of a Sheepe”; “Vpon the sight of two Snayles”; “Vpon Herbes dryed”; “Vpon the sight of Grapes”; “Vpon the sight of Tulipaes and Marygolds, &c. in his Garden.”
    7. John Bunyan, from A Book for Boys and Girls (1686)


    1. S. M., The Heavenly Passenger: or, The Pilgrims Progress, From this World, to that which is to come. Deliver’d under the Similitude of a Dream... Newly done into Verse (1687)
    2. Thomas Sherman, from The Second Part of the Pilgrim’s Progress (1682)
    3. John Wesley, The Pilgrim’s Progress ... Abridg’d by John Wesley (1741, 5th ed.)
    4. The Christian Pilgrim: Containing an Account of the Wonderful Adventures and Miraculous Escapes of a Christian, in his Travels from the Land of Destruction to the New Jerusalem (Vermont, 1811)
    5. Joshua Gilpin, from The Pilgrim’s Progress ... by John Bunyan. A new and corrected Edition, in which the phraseology of the Author is somewhat improved, some of his obscurities elucidated, and some of his redundancies done away (1811)
    6. T. Dibdin, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Metrically Condensed. In Six Cantos (1834)
    7. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Celestial Rail-road (1843)
    8. Samuel Phillips Day, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress in Words of One Syllable (1872)
    9. [W. White,] The Prisoner and His Dream. A Ballad (1872)
    10. Ralph Vaughan Williams, Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains (1925)
    11. Geoffrey T. Bull, A New Pilgrim’s Progress: John Bunyan’s Classic Imagined in a Modern Setting (1974)
    12. Maurice Sagoff, from Shrinklits: Seventy of the World’s Towering Works Cut Down to Size, “Pilgrim’s Progress” (1980)


    1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, [Allegory and Style] (1820-30)
    2. Sir Walter Scott, [Bunyan and Spenser] (1830)
    3. Thomas Babington Macaulay, [The Highest Miracle of Genius] (1832)
    4. James Anthony Froude, [The Failure of Part II] (1880)
    5. Sir Charles Firth, [The Popularity of The Pilgrim’s Progress] (1898)
    6. George Bernard Shaw, [The Artist-Philosopher] (1903)
    7. Henri Talon, [Pilgrim’s Progress as a Work of Art] (1951)
    8. F. R. Leavis, [Marxists and Mobs] (1952)]
    9. Dorothy Van Ghent, “On The Pilgrim’s Progress“ (1953)
    10. J. Paul Hunter, “Metaphor, Type, Emblem, and the Pilgrim ‘Allegory’” (1966)
    11. David J. Alpaugh, [Emblem and Interpretation] (1966)
    12. C. S. Lewis, [“The Vision of John Bunyan”] (1969)
    13. Stanley Fish, [“Progress in The Pilgrim’s Progress“] (1972)
    14. James Turner, [“Bunyan’s Sense of Place”] (1980)
    15. Cynthia Wall, [Bunyan and Maps] (2006)
    16. Kathleen M. Swaim, [The Feminine Heroic] (1990)
    17. Barbara A. Johnson, [Bunyan as First Reader] (1992)]
    18. Maxine Hancock, [Bunyan’s Marginal Notes] (2000)
    19. Isabel Hofmeyr, [How Bunyan Became English] (2002)

    John Bunyan: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography