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John Bunyan: Reading Dissenting Writing


Neil Keeble

This collection of twelve essays adopts a variety of critical and theoretical approaches to explore the range of John Bunyan’s fictional and non-fictional writing within the cultural, religious and political context of the later seventeenth century. Drawing on original research, they throw fresh light on Bunyan’s relationship to such Puritan contemporaries as Richard Baxter and John Milton, on the material circumstances of the presentation and publication of Bunyan’s texts, and on the cultural, literary and intellectual contexts of his writing. The result is a book which challenges received orthodoxies and opens up new lines of enquiry in the study of this key figure in our literary history.
Contents: Thomas N. Corns: Bunyan, Milton and the Diversity of Radical Protestant Writing – William Lamont: Bunyan and Baxter: Millennium and Magistrate – W.R. Owens: Reading the Bibliographical Codes: Bunyan’s Publication in Folio – Tamsin Spargo: Bunyans Abounding, or the Names of the Author – Michael Davies: ‘Stout & Valiant Champions for God’: the Radical Reformation of Romance in The Pilgrim’s Progress – Vera Camden: ‘That of Esau’: the Place of Hebrews xii.16,17 in Grace Abounding – Nancy Rosenfeld: ‘So counterfeit holy would this Divel be’: Debate and Disinformation as Satanic Strategies in Milton and Bunyan – Arlette Zinck: From Apocalypse to Prophecy: the Didactic Strategies of The Holy War – Roger Pooley: The Life and Death of Mr. Badman and Seventeenth-Century Discourses of Atheism – David Hawkes: Master of His Ways? Determinism and the Market in The Life and Death of Mr. Badman – Peter Marbais: The Tormented Body in The Life and Death of Mr. Badman – Stuart Sim: ‘Transworld Depravity’ and ‘Invariant Assertions’: John Bunyan’s Possible Worlds.