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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a chronological account of varying historical and historicist approaches to the life and writings of John Bunyan from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century. The theoretical assumptions of major scholars in the field are highlighted, from a Whig such as Macaulay in the nineteenth century to a Marxist such as Christopher Hill in the twentieth, to more recent work by contemporary historians such as Richard L. Greaves and N. H. Keeble. It explores changing conceptions of the relationship between text and context, and past, present, and future, as they have informed research, analysis, historiography, and interpretation within the developing disciplines of History and of English Literature. This exploration is coupled with a consideration of the often unacknowledged relationship between teleological conceptions of history and the practice of historical research and historiography.

Keywords: John Bunyan, history, historiography, Whig, Marxist

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