The Pilgrim's Progress has inspired readers for over three centuries. It is one of the best-loved and most widely read books in English literature and is a classic of the heroic Puritan tradition and a founding text in the development of the English novel. The story of Christian, whose pilgrimage takes him through the Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, and the Delectable Mountains, is full of danger and adventure. Together with his trusty companions, Faithful and Hopeful, he encounters many enemies--the foul fiend Apollyon, Judge Hategood, Giant Despair of Doubting Castle--before finally arriving at the Celestial City. Bunyan's own experience of religious persecution informs his story, and its qualities of psychological realism, and the beauty and simplicity of his prose combine to create a book whose appeal is universal.