was born in 1628 at Elstow near Bedford, the son of a brazier. Between 1644 and 1647 he served in the Parliamentary army; returning to Elstow to follow his father's trade, he underwent a deep spiritual crisis that lasted for several years. I
n about 1653 he joined an independent church in Bedford and before long began to preach and to publish polemical and doctrinal religious works. In 1660, following the Restoration, he was arrested and, on his refusal to stop preaching, was held in Bedford gaol for the next twelve years. While in prison, he published several books, the most important being his spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666), and also began to write The Pilgrim's Progress (1678).
On his release from prison in 1672 Bunyan became pastor of the Bedford congregation and the remaining years of his life were spent preaching and writing. The best-known of his later works are The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680), The Holy War (1682) and the second part of The Pilgrim's Progress (1684) He died in 1688 and was buried in Bunhill Fields.
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