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The Crossway Christian Guides to the Classics series:

In these short guidebooks, popular professor, author, and literary expert Leland Ryken takes you through some of the greatest literature in history while answering your questions along the way.

Each book:

  • Includes an introduction to the author and work
  • Explains the cultural context
  • Incorporates published criticism
  • Defines key literary terms
  • Contains discussion questions at the end of each unit of the text
  • Lists resources for further study
  • Evaluates the classic text from a Christian worldview

Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress

This volume leads readers through John Bunyan’s classic Christian allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, offering insights into the nature of faith, the reality of temptation, and the glory of salvation.

Dickens’s Great Expectations

In this volume, Ryken guides readers through Dickens’s quintessential coming-of-age novel, Great Expectations. Exploring perennial themes such as love, justice, and heroism, this book stands as the preeminent example of Dickens’s unrivaled ability to conjure realistic characters and palpable settings.

Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter

This guide opens up the signature book of American literature, Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, and unpacks its universal themes of sin, guilt, and redemption.

Homer’s The Odyssey

This guide opens up Homer’s The Odyssey and highlights the universal themes of endurance and longing for rest as displayed in this epic tale of a man trying to find his way home.

Milton’s Paradise Lost

This guide opens up the paramount epic in the English language, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and showcases Milton’s understanding of crime and punishment in the events of creation, paradisal perfection, the fall, and redemption.

Shakespeare’s MacBeth

This guide opens up the last of Shakespeare’s magnificent tragedies, Macbeth, and explores the themes of temptation, sin, and guilt, as well as the keys to virtuous behavior.

The Devotional Poetry of Donne, Herbert, and Milton (forthcoming in August 2014)

This particular volume will help readers understand and engage with the devotional poetry of three seventeenth-century poetic geniuses—John Donne, George Herbert, and John Milton.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet
(forthcoming in August 2014)
This volume will help readers understand and engage with William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy: Hamlet.


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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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