Author, Nonconformist preacher. The son of a Bedfordshire tinker, he had little education, and at first followed his father's trade. He served for three years in the Parliamentary Army during the Puritan Revolution, but saw little fighting. In about 1649 he married a pious Anglican, and embraced her religion; soon he had an intense religious awakening, seeing visions of Jesus watching him through the roof, and the Devil tugging at his clothes as he prayed. After being baptised in the River Ouse in 1653, he started to preach and to write. In 1660 the Monarchy was restored, and non-Anglican or unlicensed preaching became a crime. Bunyan was sentenced to three months in Bedford Jail for avoiding Anglican services, and refusing to be silenced. Three months stretched to twelve years, during which he wrote one of his first major works, "Grace Abounding" (1666). He also wrote the first part of his most famous book, "The Pilgrim's Progress", but decided not to publish it because of its then-controversial fictional format. After the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672, Bunyan was freed, and beame a licensed preacher in Bedfordshire. but the respite was brief, and he was again imprisoned for six months when the Declaration was repealed in 1673; this was when he completed "The Pilgrim's Progress", which was published in 1678, immediately becoming popular, with thirteen editions published before Bunyan's death. It is an allegory of a plain man's spiritual journey, told in language derived from the Bible, and has been said to be the second most-read Christian text, after the Bible. The last ten years of Bunyan's life were spent writing and preaching. He is buried close to Daniel Defoe and William Blake, both famous Nonconformist authors.
Bio by: Sheilia W.