01 April 2010

John Bunyan by Kevin Belmonte

As a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishers I recently finished reading John Bunyan by Kevin Belmonte. I found this little 142 page book (not counting appendixes) hard to put down. Having read Pilgrim's Progress many years ago I was curious to know more about the life of its author. Mr. Belmonte did a fine job of taking me back to England in the years between Bunyan's birth in 1628 and his death in 1688. He paints a vivid picture of Bunyan's childhood influences, his growing up and his life as an adult who is jailed for many years as a dissenter. A lot of English history is compressed between the covers of this little book and it is not dry reading. It captures much of what shaped John Bunyan's character as he grew and as his life was transformed by his encounters with the Son of God who would become his Savior. The book is sprinkled generously throughout with quotes of famous men who were influenced by Bunyan's writings; men such as G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Brown and many others. Later authors whose writings held references to or seemed to be influenced by his writings would include George Eliot, Jane Austen, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Samuel Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. With the insights provided by this biography I am inspired to re-read Pilgrim's Progress. I know I will see it with new eyes.

1 comment:

  1. You make this book sounds like an excellent choice to read.