‘Out of the Spoils Won in Battel’

N. H. Keeble

in The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560608
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

‘Out of the Spoils Won in Battel’

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This article considers the role of the English Revolution in the success of John Bunyan. Bunyan came to maturity amidst the outpouring of print through which were articulated the political and religious tensions of the first half of the century. The gathering momentum of the English Revolution generated an unprecedented increase in press activity, which raised annual output from 625 titles in 1639 to over 3,666 in 1642, thereafter between 1,000 and 2,000 annually until the Restoration. This resulted in a ‘democritization’ of the press, a ‘downwards dissemination of print’, as radical Puritanism inspired in those such as Bunyan the confidence to access and participate in a literary culture from which they had hitherto been excluded. His successful book, The Pilgrim's Progress is also discussed.

Keywords: English Revolution; John Bunyan; writers; print; literary culture; Puritanism; The Pilgrim's Progress

Article.  8095 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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