Within the last half-century, early scholarly approaches and analysis of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress have seen siginificant advances in mandating and enabling a more contextualized view of Bunyan’s oeuvre. Utilizing this fresh examination of context, John Bunyan’s Imaginary Writings in Context explores Bunyan’s writings in a double context: his fictional works vis-à-vis his own non-fictional writings, and his fictional writings in the context of written materials by other authors – books, tracts, spiritual biographies, and poems available to Bunyan. This volume presents these recent developments by blurring the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, between literature and history, and in the case of Bunyan, between imaginative literatures in fiction and theological writing. Moreover, this book aims to delineate the imaginary world underlying Bunyan’s fictional writings by viewing Bunyan’s own fictional works in tandem with his non-fiction writings. Simultaneously it situates aspects of Bunyan’s fiction in the context of writings available to him, whether these be Holy Scripture, religious tracts by other authors, or ballads and short texts current in the wider culture of the time.
Nancy Rosenfeld teaches in the Dept. of English Studies of the Max Stern College of Jezreel Valley, Israel. She is the author of The Human Satan in Seventeenth Century English Literature: From Milton to Rochester (Ashgate, 2008), and has published articles on John Milton, John Bunyan, John Wilmot, earl of Rochester, John Keats, Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. Rosenfeld’s research interests include the literature of seventeenth-century dissenters and the soldier-poets of World War I.
"I enjoyed reading this book and have bene¿ted from Rosenfeld’s many and varied observations [...] I found the book challenging and thought-provoking; the themes and the approach a refreshing and necessary contribution to the analysis of Bunyan’s ‘imaginary writings’ [...] I thoroughly recommend this book."
- Ruth J. Broomhall, The Glass