John Bunyan

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John Bunyan (1628-1688), tinker and nonconformist minister, was one of the great writers of 17th century English prose. The son of a worker in brass, he served briefly in the parliamentary army in the English Civil War, and later became a tinker or brazier. He joined a separatist congregation in Bedford, founded by John Gifford, and his first writings were in pursuance of disputes with the Quakers. Following the Restoration he served several periods in prison, during which he wrote many of his works, but at other times preached widely around Bedford and in London, attracting large assemblies. In 1672 (while still in prison) he became the minister of his congregation.

Author of numerous works, he is best known for The Pilgrim's Progress, The Holy War (both allegories), The Life and Death of Mr Badman, and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, his spiritual autobiography.

His prose style, compared with that of many contemporaries, is colloquial and simple, rising at times to resonance. In the straightforwardness of his writing and his depiction of character, he anticipated many 18th century authors. His work also contain occasional verse.