In a letter of 11 December 1944 C. S. Lewis mentions five “shining examples of human holiness”. Along with Saint Francis, George Herbert, George MacDonald, “and even burly old Dr. Johnson” we find John Bunyan. Lewis admired John Bunyan, whose The Pilgrim’s Progress Lewis knew wel1.[2] He spent part of the Christmas holiday of 1929 (before he had become a Christian) indexing it (cf. Lewis, Letters to Arthur Greeves 320), and later, after his conversion, it served as a model for his first work of apologetics, The Pilgrim’s Regress. Once he described, in terms that fit well his own writings, the genesis of Bunyan’s masterpiece:

My own guess is that the scheme of a journey with adventures suddenly reunited two things in Bunyan’s mind which had hitherto lain far apart. One was his present and lifelong preoccupation with the spiritual life. The other, far further away and longer ago, left behind (he had supposed) in childhood, was his delight in old wives’ tales and such last remnants of chivalric romance as he had found in chap-books. (Essays 147)

There are other parallels between Bunyan and Lewis. Both had returned to a fervent Protestant Christianity as adults; both addressed religious topics in a style that has had its first and greatest success outside academe; and both recognized that Christianity was of momentous importance. “In my opinion”, Lewis wrote,

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