John Bunyan was born in 1628 at Elstow near Bedford, England. As a young man, he served briefly in the Parliamentary forces. Then, after years of spiritual struggle, he found salvation in Christ and began to preach to groups of dissenters. Arrested and condemned to Bedford jail for illegal preaching, a punishment from which he might well have been freed by promising to give up his ministry, he remained in prison for nearly twelve years, and, after several years of liberty, was again jailed for another six months. His was an imprisonment unique in English literature for the quality of the fruit it bore-notably the incomparable "Pilgrim's Progress."