Reference > Cambridge History > Cavalier and Puritan > John Bunyan. Andrew Marvell > The Holy War
  Its influence The Life and Death of Mr. Badman  


The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.

VII. John Bunyan. Andrew Marvell.

§ 7. The Holy War.

Between 1656, when he gave his first book to the world, and 1688, when, a few weeks before his death, he saw his last book partly through the press, Bunyan sent forth, altogether, no fewer than sixty different publications as the product of his pen. While all these may be truly said to bear more or less the stamp and impress of his genius, there are four outstanding books which, by common consent, are recognised as surpassing all the rest in impressiveness and creative power—Grace Abounding, The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Holy War and The Life and Death of Mr. Badman. It is generally agreed that, in point of personal interest and popular power, The Holy War contrasts unfavourably with the story of Christian and Christiana. Still, in the later book, also, there are fine passages and lofty conceptions, though it moves in a more abstract region than its predecessor. It is interesting, also, as throwing light upon Bunyan’s own military experiences. The material deeds of the various captains engaged in the siege of Mansoul are, doubtless, reminiscences of days in Newport garrison when he came in contact with the preaching and praying majors and captains of the parliamentary army. Apart from these things, however, Macaulay’s verdict, as we all know, was that, if The Pilgrim’s Progress had not been written, The Holy War would have been our greatest English allegory.   22

  Its influence The Life and Death of Mr. Badman  
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