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


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

VII. John Bunyan. Andrew Marvell.

§ 8. The Life and Death of Mr. Badman.

The remaining work—The Life and Death of Mr. Badman—though disfigured by grotesque stories and somewhat coarse passages, yet bears the characteristic marks of Bunyan’s genius and is, admittedly, a work of power. He himself intended this book to be the companion picture to that of his dream; as the one set forth the progress of a Christian from this world to glory, the other was to present the life and death of the ungodly, their travel through this world to perdition. It is constructed on a different plan, the former being in continuous narrative, and this in dialogue form, disfigured by didactic discourses on the various vices of a bad man’s life. It is a picture of low English life as Bunyan saw it with his own eyes in a commonplace country town in the degraded days of a licentious king, and, as such, it has its historical value. Froude has given a forcibly expressed estimate of the work. To him it is a remarkable story:
The drawing is so good, the details so minute, the conception so unexaggerated that we are disposed to believe that we must have a real history before us. But such supposition is only a compliment to the skill of the composer. Throughout we are on solid earth, amidst real experiences. Bunyan conceals nothing, assumes nothing, and exaggerates nothing. There the figure stands: a picture of a man in the rank of English life with which Bunyan was most familiar, travelling along the primrose path to the everlasting bonfire, as the way to Emmanuel’s Land was through the Slough of Despond and the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

  The Holy War Andrew Marvell  

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