Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

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Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Wallace Ben-Hur cover.jpg
First edition, 1880
Author Lew Wallace
Country United States
Language English
Genre Historical
Publisher Harper & Brothers
Publication date
November 12, 1880
Media type Print

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is an historical novel by Lew Wallace. It was published on November 12, 1880 by Harper & Brothers. The novel was the first work of fiction to receive a blessing from a pope. This happened during the reign of Pope Leo XIII.[1][2][3]

The novel is set in Ancient Rome and Ancient Judea. It tells the story of two men - one a Jewish prince (Ben-Hur) and the other a Roman tribune - whose lifelong friendship turns to bitter hatred. At the end, Ben-Hur witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus. He becomes a Christian.

The book was the best-selling American novel from the time of its publication until Gone with the Wind appeared in 1936. Following the 1959 release of the movie Ben-Hur starring Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd, sales of the novel soared, topping those of Gone with the Wind.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Asimov, Isaac. Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts, New York: Random House Publishing, 1981.
  2. Dollison, John. 1994. Pope-Pourri: What You Don't Remember From Catholic School. Simon and Schuster, p. 200.
  3. Christian Work and the Evangelist: 1903, Volume 74, Issues 1881-1897, p. 895.
  4. Wallace, Lew (1998) Ben-Hur. Oxford World's Classics, p. vii