Introduction and notes: R. Sharrock
This book is an allegory. All things are personalized. You can read this as a novel, but Bunyan wants to warn Christians for the devil and troubles they'll meet when they are on their way to the Celestial City.
Christian is the main character in the first part. His first partner is Faithful, but he is killed and then he goes further with Hopeful.
In the second part follows Christiana her husband. She goes with her children and Mercy on her way too. They are always protected by Great-Heart.
The first part was written in 1667-1672, Bunyan was in prison at the moment. The second part was written in 1684. The story takes also place then, because persons in the allegory are alike living important persons in that period. Evangelist could be pastor John Gifford, who helped Bunyan.
Christian lived in the City of Destruction. On his way he met people from other city's. They'll show 'the world.' The Celestial City is heaven.
It is not about real city's or places. It's about the Christian's Progress.
When I was young I heard this story told on the radio and now I wanted to read it for myself. But the language is old-fashioned and it is very theological. I almost could not get through.
No, I wouldn't others advise this book to read. It is difficult. And even when you like reading, this book is not the best to get.
Christian can't live anymore in the City of Destruction and goes to the Celestial City. On his way he has to deal with many difficulties. So he learns to trust God. For example: he fights with Apollyon, he meets Talkative, Atheïst and has nearly been killed by a Giant. Finally he comes to the Gate of the Celestial City and is let in.
Christiana can't hold it any longer and leaves the City of Destruction with her four boys too. Mercy comes along with her, but feels like Ruth. They rest a long time at the House of the Interpreter and later at Gaius'. They are protected by Great-Heart. When they come to the river, they have to wait until someone comes, with a letter, to take them to the Celestial City.