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The Pilgrim's Progress.
part 1.
The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print. It has also been cited as the first novel written in English.
John Bunyan was a passionately religious man, imprisoned in 1660 for preaching without a license, and spending most of the next twelve years in jail. It was after his release and during his second imprisonment in 1676 that he seems to have written his most famous and influential work, The Pilgrim's Progress.

The book recounts a dream of the trials and adventures of Christian (an Everyman figure, born with the name Graceless) as he flees his home, the City of Destruction, for the Celestial City, Heaven. In Part I (1678), Christian has fled the City of Destruction on the advice of Evangelist, who guides him to the path toward the Celestial City. Christian seeks to rid himself of a terrible burden, the weight of his sins, that he feels after reading a book (ostensibly the Bible); the weight, he believes, is pulling him down to hell.
In Part II (1684), which deals with the effort of Christian’s wife, Christiana, and their sons and their neighbour Mercy to join him, the psychological intensity is relaxed, and the capacity for humour and realistic observation becomes more evident.
After this famous book at least fifty different sets of lantern slides have been made by almost all famous manufacturers, Bamforth, York, Newton, Theobald, Pumphrey, Barnard, Riley, Butcher and others. Many manufacturers even released several series into this story, sometimes consisting of less than ten, but also of more than a hundred slides.
This makes it very hard - even more than with other series - to determine how the sets were originally composed. It is very likely that lanternists have shortened the sets in the past, changed the order of the plates, or added slides from other series. Several manufacturers have also released lantern slides with the same, or very similar, images, which makes it even more difficult.
 
Pilgrim's Progress - Butcher.
The English manufacturer of the well-known Junior Lecturers Series, W. Butcher & Sons, released The Pilgrim's Progress in three parts, each with eight slides, so a total of 24 slides. Below are three slides from the series, the rest can be found here.
 
Pilgrim's Progress.

A beautiful series of lantern slides in a wooden frame. The series consists of at least 12 slides, numbered 1 - 12. Two additional plates seem to have been added to this. They are not numbered and are titled 'John Bunyan' and 'Bedford Gaol'.
John Bynyan (extra?). Bedford Gaol (extra?). 1. The Pilgrim and his Burden.
2. The Shining Light. 3. The Slough of Despond. 4. The Pilgrim at the Gate.
5. Christian and the Three Shining Ones. 6. The Pilgrim and the Lions. 7. Christian Armed.
8. The Fight with Appollyon. 9. Vanity Fair. 10. The Pilgrims found Sleeping.
11. The Pilgrims and the Shepherds 12. Passes through the Water. 14 wood framed slides.

Le pèlerin.
Probably French version of The Pilgrim's Progress made by an unknown manufacturer.

Pilgrim's Progress.
Manufacturer unknown.
Set of 18 slides made by an unknown manufacturer. The images are almost similar to the images from the set above.
 


The left upper corner is labelled 'WMSSU' which stands for 'Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School Union, 2 Ludgate Circus Buildings'.
Pilgrim's Progress.

Two magnificent slides from a large series, numbered 30 and 42.
 
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Last update: 06-09-2018.
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