(Pdf Download) [Ben Hur by Lew Wallace]
Is not his the law Eye for eye hand for hand foot for foot Oh in all these years I have dreamed of vengeance and prayed and provided for it and gathered patience from the growing of my store thinking and promising as the Lord liveth it will one day buy me punishment of the wrong doers Who s in for a revenge tale set in the first century aCBen Hur is a man who s perfectly happy He has a mother and a sister who love him and he s friends with a Roman and that puts him in a position of privilege All is well until one day he killed a Roman governor It was an accident but no one believes him He s desperate yet he can do nothingBut wait he has a friend Messalla who can help him Too bad he betrays him and sends him to the galleys in a life sentenceObviously Ben Hur is angry His life has been completely ruined He will never get to see his family again because the passage to the galleys is a one way ticketBy some turns of events call them fate or luck the ship in which he worked sank and he managed to get out and save a governor Saving that governor gained him a great price Fortune Now with money his hatred turns to a desire of revenge and he s willing to make Messalla pay for what he didAll of the above may make the book sound like some epic tale of revenge perhaps as epic as The Count of Monte Cristo Well it wasn tLet me tell you how the book starts Part 1 of the book is a complete recollection of Jesus birth It s even detailed than in the Bible Well to be honest that would not have been so bad if it weren t for the writingThe writing gave me many many headaches It was T E R R I B L E Look at this passage for example A moment they looked at each other then they embraced that is each threw his right arm over the other s shoulder and the left round the side placing his chin first upon the left then upon the right breast Do you think it s necessary that amount of detail I mean I understand they hugged but I need not a description of how a hug is That s excessive Now imagine 500 pages of descriptions like those A nightmare isn t itNot only is the writing like that The author also assumes the reader is stupid I couldn t find the uote but there s a line at the beginning in which the author basically says I know you don t know anything about history so I ll tell you something Before Jesus was born time was not measured by how many years had passed since his birth That s because he didn t exist yet Isn t it a little obvious If the man who s used as reference for measuring years has not been born yet how can you use his birth as reference It s called logic Mr Wallace You don t need to be an historian to know thatAlso the writing was bland boring and stiff Here s your proof What has happened What does it all mean she asked in sudden alarm I have killed the Roman governor The tile fell upon him Doesn t it feel a little lacking of emotion I mean if you kill someone important by accident would you be so calm Ben Hur is supposed to be afraid yet that passage doesn t make him sound like that If anything he sounds bored like Hey look the tile fell upon the Roman governor and I killed him Bah YOLO Who cares There s this one too Malluch looked into Ben Hur s face for a hint of meaning but saw instead two bright red spots one on each cheek and in his eyes traces of what might have been repressed tears No emotions rightThen Wallace kept addressing the readers I don t have a problem with that but in this case I hated it Why Because he did it in almost every page I m going to show you the ones I had enough patience to look for The reader who recollects the history of Balthasar as given by himself at the meeting in the desert will understand the effect of Ben Hur s assertion of disinterestedness upon that worthy Yeah yeah yeah whatever Show me Ben Hur is disinterested I want to feel him disinterested I don t want you telling me Here s an advice for you Mr Wallace Show not tell He fell to thinking and even the reader will say he was having a vision of the woman and that it was welcome than that of Esther if only because it stayed longer with him No you cannot tell what I was thinking at that moment In fact when I read that line I was wondering what the dinner was going to be If the reader will take a "MAP OF GREECE AND THE AEGEAN "of Greece and the AEgean will notice the island of Euboea lying along the classic coast like a rampart against Asia leaving a channel between it and the continent uite a hundred and twenty miles in length and scarcely an average of eight in width See I was so damn tired of it after 20 pages And this block has than five Hundred PagesThere s also the religious plot I thought it would not bother me but in the end it did I ll show you whyExhibit A Who s Jesus Where was the Child thenAnd what was his mission Yes Wallace made a big mystery about Jesus I said he assumes the reader is stupid Here s one example of that He tries to thrill the reader into the mystery as to who the Mesiah is Please you don t have to be Catholic to know who s the great Mesiah in that religion Everyone knows thatExhibit B Believe in God or else you go to Hell This was not a revenge tale This was a redemption tale I knew that from the beginning because I ve watched the movie thousands of times and the name of the book makes it obvious and I know the story as I know my house so I didn t expect to get angry at that What got me was that basically the message Wallace gives you is the one I wrote as exhibit B If you don t pray then you re a bad person We all know that s not necessarily true But I ll stop talking about that hereAt the beginning of this review I said this could have been EPIC And indeed it had all the chances of being so I mean it s a REVENGE tale I love those so I was expecting to like this but what I got was an overdose of BOREDOM Really you could change the name of the book to Ben Dull A Tale of TediousnessIn the end this book was bad I do not understand why it has such a high average rating to be exact it has at this moment an av rating of 400 stars with 21073 ratings and 469 reviews Is there something wrong with me I don t get very suspicious about high ratings when we re talking about classics but this book has made me learn the lesson That a book is a classic doesn t mean you can trust the hypeOh and may I tell you something else The movie was betterThe movie better than the book Can you believe it No of course you can t It s always the book better than the movie but trust me that s not the case with this bookNow pay attention to the following uote It s the ending paragraph of the book If any of my readers visiting Rome will make the short ourney to the Catacomb of San Calixto which is ancient than that of San Sebastiano he will see what became of the fortune of Ben Hur and give him thanks Out of that vast tomb Christianity issued to supersede the Caesars If you go there make sure you thank Ben Hur or else Wallace can get angryPS Want to have some good laughs Look at my infinite status updates They ll make your day Third Reading Lent 2017Could there be a better classic to read during LentSecond reading Lent 2016 Absolutely better on the second reading What American is unaware of the Charlton Heston chariot race It is absolutely iconic In Anne of Green Gables Anne is caught reading Ben Hur during lessons but couldn t put it down because of the intensity of the chariot race Most Americans have grown up with at least a passing exposure to the Hollywood epic of Ben Hur and therefore will find the text to be surreal and disorienting at first and then much richer than the beloved movie as the story evolves This very complex story has a whole cast of important characters and hundreds of pages to work out their stories It is a lot to read and keep straight but it is packed with one incredible story and some of the most beautiful biblical imagery I have ever read While the story is layered exciting and uick moving it is the beautiful scenery that Wallace paints that stays with me Wallace carefully orients the reader in the sights smells and people in the background of each scene This makes for very entertaining reading but in the scenes with Christ this leaves a reader feeling as though they were actually there We see Christ through 3rd person eyes they were actually there We see Christ through 3rd person eyes sometimes we also see him through Judah s eyes and this is very helpful during the Passion We relate to Judah s struggle against wanting to defend Christ with a sword against the Romans but being bound by His will Wallace does a brilliant A World on Fire job of drawing Judah right into those famous biblical scenes without compromising the Gospel one iota His ability to hold a fictional plot line in tandem with these eternally famous final days of Christ s life is inspired I was particularly gratified by how Wallace was able to include Judah into the most famous scenes of the Gospel without changing Christ s words one syllable The way that he fills in the context is very inspiring to this reader In fact I wish that biblical movies would study the final chapters of this brilliant book There are so many interesting themes that one could teach an entire year on this text and the rabbit trails it takes us on Egyptian mythology Eastern religions Jewish customs Jewish law Judaism across different cultures Roman expansion and occupation Roman military engineering specifically their dominance at sea Roman games specifically chariot racing Arabian horses Leprosy Jewish banking Slavery the life of Christ persecution of the early Christians etc etc etc This is a book that I will re read every few years and always during Lent This is a beautiful example of fiction revealing Truth Goodness and Beauty I am a better person for having let the Prince of Hur move into my heart First reading Apr 1 13 2014 Without a particular thought to the season in which I chose to read this I was by Divine Intervention scheduled to read this at the end of Lent The incredible last 50 pages on Palm Sunday weekend Ben Hur was a beloved childhood movie I had no idea how much richer and profound the book would be Beginning with the wisemens meeting and ending with the persecution of Christians by Nero this book is a Christ story as well as an incredible fictional adventure and love story Absolutely incredible Excellent novel weak theology The first thing I want to address is the speed of this book I first read this book in the fall or winter of 1971 and at that time as a high school senior I was well accustomed to reading Jane Austen Charles Dickens Victor Hugo and all those other authors of the Victorian era and before Back then I read one Shakespeare play every year for high school English literature with support from my friends and the teacher and had even slogged through the assigned portions of Beowulf That saidin 1971 I wasust awestruck dumbfounded enthralled by the book Ben Hur on so many levels It was one of the foundational books of my adolescence I tried to pick the book up again in 2011 40 years later and found it to be much harder to get into By this time I d seen the 1959 version twice and had even seen the 1925 version twice Incidentally some critics say the 1925 chariot race is superior to the 1959 version because of some of the heroic camera shots and stuntmen of the 1920s Check it out for yourselfSo I ve completed Ben Hur again now with the help of Audible books My point about the speed of this book is that we have all succumbed to the fast pace of Sesame Street In this fast moving era we can no longer tolerate pausing for a moment in the story to feel the breeze observe the delicate nuances of facial expressions and well chosen words smell the gardens marvel at the stars understand enough history of a childhood friendship to be able to comprehend the incom. 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Lew Wallace Ñ 9 Free readPrehensible betrayal of that childhood friend absorb the emotion of innocent women incarcerated in a ail cell known to be infected with leprosy and to read long enough to fully be able to empathize with the women who are coping with the long term symptoms of leprosy as they mentally prepare for death from the disease I m ready to go back pull out my nursing textbooks to brush up on signssymptomstreatment of leprosyWell so I had an uncomfortable feeling that my life has accelerated enough in the last 40 years that the style of Ben Hur s author has become probably 4X as difficult for me to read as it was when I was 17 and well used to reading classics of the 1700s and 1800s This makes me feel some shame No wonder we get Alzheimer s I m well on my wayOK Enough of thatThe plot of this book is earthy emotional spiritual exciting ust watch 1959 and 1925 All the elements of a fast moving plot sueezed into 90 120 minutesBut I think some of us have ignored the philosophical ethical and spiritual uestions posed and addressed in the book Some of the Victorian descriptions are begging us to slow down first and then take time to pick up and ponder the weighty uestions of man s existence and God s slow unfolding of His passionate pursuit and redemption of man throughout historyThis is the book that untimately led me to firm faith in Christ The book I read in 1971 it was a version printed in 1901 given to my Grandpa as a high school graduation gift illustrated with photographs of actors on a stage in New York City At the time of this printing the authorUnion generalGovernor Lew Wallace was still alive He insisted that if this book were to be portrayed onstage that no human was capable of playing the part of Jesus Christ the Son of God The Christ was to be represented as a light shining into the midst of the actors This is another indictment of our age In 1901 even the Broadway producers could be persuaded that Jesus Christ was too holy to be represented by a human actorYou undoubtedly know the story from the Paul Newman movie Slow down your life for a couple of hours every day and soak in this book Take time to understand the viewpoints of Ben Hur s associates that baby who had such an unusual birth attended by one incredibly bright star a chorus of angels in the sky a rush of shepherds to the postpartum recovery room the arrival of mysterious Wise Men from the East Was he to be a Savior of the eternal souls of man Was he to be a victorious King of Israel forever Was he to be both And if so how COULD he be both And was He GODTake time to feel with Judah Ben Hur the thirst for revenge His enemy his childhood playmate twisted an accusation to condemn his widowed mother his sweet little sister and Ben Hur himself to incarceration slave labor in a galley ship and inevitable death Of COURSE Judah Ben Hur wanted to overcome that enemy publicly Maybe even death in a chariot race And the search for his lost mother and sister that led him to the leper colony outside the city Wouldn t you want to kill the bastard He deserved to die for his flippant accusation of the Hur familyAnd the restored fortune of Judah Ben Hur himself How to use it for the promised Messiah of Israel This Jesus is a poor man He does not lead an army What better use of a fortune than to devote it to the heir of King David This man who restores sight to blind men and heals lepers Surely this is the man God promised to restore the eternal throne of David And Judah Ben Hur could be in on the ground floorAnd the two women who were attracted toby Judah Ben Hur Which was most exciting Which was most pure Which was most beautiful Which would be the best choice for Ben Hur as a lifelong companion See what I mean This is an EXCITING book And you need the time to sit back from the action to ponder the fathom deep philosophical spiritual uestions posed in the midst of this book This book was the best selling novel of the whole 19th century it surpassed Uncle Tom s Cabin To this day Ben Hur has never been out of print This is an exceptionally significant book in terms of literary historyAll I can say now is that it s written in a different style than we re used to Over the years we ve gradually become used to RUN Sally RUN faster faster faster and have drifted away from an afternoon playing a board game with the family with a pitcher of iced tea on the porch Just look at the previous reviews good movie but the book is weighted down with descriptions philosophical uestions I would encourage you to tighten up your belt sueeze on your thinking cap if you can find it and wade into this book like you KNOW you can conuer the distance in years Because if I can do it you can easily do it Take some time to lay the book down when the uestions get too heavy and ust THINK about it for a while While you re shoveling snow or mowing grass or driving the kids to soccer Think about the uestions Ben Hur and Simonides and Balthazar are wrestling with Or think about the injustice Ben Hur s mother and sister are living and dying with Because these uestions and issues are the same ones we have while we re cheering Sally to Run Sally Run Gee Sally can t you run any FASTER This book takes fight and determination to read for those of us born in the 20th century It isn t written for a lazy reader of Harleuin romances It s written for someone who wants to develop teeth and the digestion to read a book you have to churn a bit Lew Wallace who
wrote this book was a general with the Union army during the Civil War he witnessed some of the bloodiestthis book was a general with the Union army during the Civil War he witnessed some of the bloodiest this nation ever saw and wrestled with the weightiest spiritual reasons for fighting a war the value of a slave s soul and being He struggled for most of his life with having been blamed unjustly and unfairly for the direction the battle of Shiloh took He later served as governor of New Mexico during a time of violence and political corruption had to wrestle with ustice versus forgiveness He had negotiated a contract of forgiveness with the outlaw Billy the Kid and wrestled with the powers that be to try to deliver this pardon even though he was living in a world of politicians This author was not a shallow man and when this book was written in 1880 it undoubtedly presented the dilemmas he d wrestled during this difficult period of American history I think he presents these stories concepts in a poetically beautiful manner and a spiritually cleansing manner Although the literary style is different from what we ve become accustomed to the concepts and uestions are cutting edgeWeight Watchers isn t easy Curves isn t easy 5K s aren t easy Marathons aren t easy You can sit on the couch and watch reruns on Me TV You can read through a Harleuin romance in a couple of days Or you can determine to train your mind and spirit and read one of the BEST BOOKS you ll ever read Although it was harder to tackle at age 60 than it was when I was 17 this is still one of the very best books I ve ever had the privilege to read I still have my 1901 edition and it is one of my most highly treasured heirlooms But my recorded version of Ben Hur is something I want to burn to CD to share with my kids grandkids descendants It is truly one of the most significant books I ve EVER read Or listened toTackle it Historical fiction as a genre was first developed by the writers of the Romantic school which arose around the end of the 18th century the Romantics were drawn by the exoticism of historical settings and the drama of epochal events and even of daily life in a time was life was wilder and dangerous Lew Wallace s masterwork stands suarely in this tradition but takes it in a new direction For the first couple of Romantic generations history largely meant European history Biblical history outside of the text of the Bible itself simply wasn t that well known archaeology was in its infancy and neither writers or readers could really imagine the Biblical world as it actually wasBy 1880 however scholarship had pulled back the curtain of obscurity enough to bring to light the basic contours of that ancient and Near Eastern world and a full fledged epic novel of the time of Christ had become possible It was Lew Wallace s destiny to write it A lawyer politician with a military background in both the Mexican and Civil Wars he was already a successful historical novelist At the time he embarked on writing Ben Hur by his own statement he had no particular religious beliefs but during the seven years of research he put in for the writing of the novel his study of the New Testament and its historical background led him to become a Christian believer Although title character Judah Ben Hur is the novel s protagonist this is also very much as the subtitle says a tale of the Christ who will be the decisive influence in the protagonist s life and the author s treatment of Christ and his ministry is thoroughly reverentThe novel isn t without its flaws Having a background in Biblical scholarship I m prone to notice factual errors in the historical cultural details and despite Wallace s research there are several of them here though in the interests of time I ll refrain from cataloging them Besides his typical 19th them here though in the interests of time I ll refrain from cataloging them Besides his typical 19th diction which doesn t bother me personally though it does some modern readers his pacing can be slow especially in the opening chapters and a few passages of dialogue basically take the form of long sermon like discourses or expositions that can be on the dry side His prose style is often description heavy and there sometimes isn t a corresponding gain in the clarity with which readers can visualize the scenes for instance despite the laborious attempt to describe the appointments of the ampitheater at Antioch I can t say I really have a clear mental picture of it though that may be my fault and not his He inserts miraculous Divine activity into some contexts where the New Testament writers don t and in common with most 19th century Christians he belabors a false dichotomy between Christ as a savior and spiritual king vs his role as future king of the physical world a dichotomy which IMO makes nonsense of both Old and New Testament eschatology though Wallace is right in recognizing that Christ s mission in his first coming was vastly profound and less militant than the role the Zealots wanted to cast him inHowever the pluses here strongly outweigh the minuses This is a substantial novel dealing with serious spiritual moral and psychological issues and embodying them in the experiences and decisions of very well drawn lifelike characters To be sure there is the full panoply of a Romantic school novel of excitement and adventure with plenty of appeal to strong emotions miscarriage of ustice galley slavery piracy shipwreck a high stakes chariot race with the possibility of death or injury for the contestants a romantic triangle revenge betrayal the horrors of leprosy and above all the intense real life drama of the crucifixion of Christ here depicted with as much horrific force as prose can give it without the visual element All of this of course is something the Realist critical establishment of Wallace s day and ours sees as literary mortal sin and deprecates accordingly and which I do not But it s coupled with a significant message that s as profound as that of any other classic novel that s stood the test of time That combination made this the best selling novel of the 19th century and ensured that it s never been out of print since It was the decisive influence in opening up the Biblical world as a setting for historical fiction which innumerable authors since have made use of and in opening up the minds of conservative Protestant readers in the English speaking world to the legitimacy R most important libraries around the world and other notations in the workThis work is in the public domain in the United States of America and possibly other nations Within the United States you may freely copy and distribute this work as no entity individual or corporate has a copyright on the body of the workAs a reproduction of a historical artifact. .
F fiction as an art form These are no mean achievements by any objective measure Wallace ranks as one of the most influential and significant American authors of his period although you would never discover this from most of the official literary histories and academic survey coursesNote I read this in the 1992 Reader s Digest unabridged edition which has an illuminating Afterword adapted from Lew Wallace Militant Romantic by Robert and Katharine Morsberger The first sign that I should not have read this book was the discrepancy in hours between the abridged and unabridged versions on audible Unabridged 21 hours Abridged 3 hours I bought it anyway and soon discovered why There s about 15% story and 85% fluff in Ben Hur It is hands down the best argument for editing I have ever read For example there was a section in the beginning where two men embraced That s all we need to know right No no Of course not We have to hear that they threw their right arm around each other keeping the left to the side as was custom at that time They then touched chins to each other s shoulder withdrew and did the same thing on the other side all the while smiling and wishing each other wellThat might not seem so bad But when every facet of every scene is so unrelentingly explored it gets old real uickThe book proceeds for the next four hours to retell the birth of Jesus in painstaking detail Want to know what kind of trimming lined each of the wise men s shawls Then READ THIS BOOKThe moment that really made me want to stop reading was when the author admitted how exhaustive his story was When finally introduced to Ben Hur in hour five he decided to take a moment to describe the rise and fall of Herod and the ensuing political uprisings With all of this detail behind he said The reader shall be spared a full chapter on Jewish politics Spared Are you kidding You realize how boring your book is don t youUg I ll keep going but I m not happy about itNovember 23rd Just can t do it Ben Hur A Tale of the Christ is a novel by Lew Wallace published by Harper Brothers on November 12 1880 and considered the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century The story recounts in descriptive detail the adventures of Judah Ben Hur a Jewish prince from Jerusalem who is enslaved by the Romans at the beginning of the 1st century and becomes a charioteer and a Christian Running in parallel with Judah s narrative is the unfolding story of Jesus from the same region and around the same age The novel reflects themes of betrayal conviction and redemption with a revenge plot that leads to a story of love and compassion 1971 Out of that vast tomb Christianity issued to supersede the Caesars Ben Hur is one of those classic works better recognised for its many adaptations To this end it seems fair to compare it to another highly similar work Les Miserables Both are classic historical fiction works which use history to spread themes and ideas about humanity as a whole Both novels also regularly divert from the storytelling to provide detailed insights into history This is perhaps where Ben Hur is stronger than Les Miserables in that as a novel it works historical detail better into the plot However Les Miserables message of grace and redemption holds as much power as this tale if not If you ve failed to see the famous and eually classic Charlton Heston 1959 film of this novel then you would be in the minority There are very few individuals without some knowledge of the film s story and plot a grand sweeping tragedy that comes full circle and moves the character Judah Ben Hur from prince to slave to prince again The book is no different though there are perhaps elements better highlighted in each version of the tale There is a well portrayed sense of a love triangle within the novel for instance that is not there in the film However this love triangle exists purely to work a contrast between love and death and love and dutyIt is powerful how Lew Wallace worked his novel to feature ideas that could be linked back into his modern times Firstly there is the internal and consistent religiousChristian theology and debate that ensures within the novel a line of inuiry that vanishes from the 1959 film to be replaced with other eually strong motives The way in which Wallace writes about the disparity between the different racial groups of his novel the Romans Greeks Israelites Arabs Negroes and Egyptians possibly works as a form of social criticism of his own era There is the point made that the Jews live in bondage under the Romans and are treated as much inferior people This in turn reminds one of how African Americans were treated during the 1880s and beyond as an inferior group One can perhaps wonder whether Lew Wallace is observing the differences in the way groups of his own time interact and are treated and working them into his novel Indeed when it came to freedom and slavery key themes within this novel Wallace claimed In the nature of things Freedom and Slavery cannot be coexistent and if Freedom is lost the Democratic party is responsible To him the presence of some slavery made it impossible for true freedom to exist anywhere within the country 1 Down Eros up Mars Essentially Ben Hur is a novel of many contrasts epitomised by this uote made famous through the film It is a novel of revenge versus love death versus life kingship versus servant hood It is a novel of all the things that compose Christianity in many regards with how Christ came and turned many things upside down in that regard Ben Hur is compared to the ourneys of the Romans around him and serves to show the effect of Christ upon a hate filled individual He is particularly compared to his friend Messala On the other hand Esther is compared to the Egyptian with the differences in love and respect for their parents particularly noticeable Then there is the overall comparison of Roman rule when it clashes with Jewish rule or law Ben Hur is a great tale and it is a real testament to its greatness that it has survived through the years and in many forms As with Les Miserables it is a must read historical fiction classic Though there are periods at the beginning of the novel that serve as slow exposition and could cause the reader to lose track of the plot the novel itself is a masterful fiction work Leave behind the pseudo historical fiction works of the modern mega selling authors and the fantasy worlds that enthral modern readers Ben Hur is the eual and better of any of them though it may not suit one s modern taste particularly well as some may note the difficulty of being forced to keep focused on everything within the novel Give Ben Hur a read and down with Mars down with Eros and up with true love I ve been meaning to read this book for at least 40 or 50 years and have The Oxford New Greek Dictionary just never gotten farther than starting it and then not finishing it The reason I hadn t finished it in the past was that I d pick something else up to read See this book was written or at least published in 1880the language and the writing reflect thatLook that is not a criticism it s simply a fact I had trouble acclimating myself to the period writingAlso I suspect most reading this will have seen the Charlton Heston film It will be almost impossible not to compare the two Let me say therefore that I like the movie and have seen it enough to have favorite parts That said there are significant differences in the book and movies there are a couple other movies of the same book The book has much content about Jesus I mean the book is subtitled A Tale of the Christ The novel takes much longer to get rolling again probably a product of the time it was written and it takes longer to set up the tragedyAlso the relationship between Judah and Messala is completely different here than in the filmAnyway good book be ready for some slow story telling but again a pretty good book Recommended Like probably most if not all of you I have seen the movie made from this book and than once To no one s surprise I last saw that movie a very long time ago Conseuently I cannot sayust how faithful the screen adaptation was to
This Book But I Thinkbook but I think book as we would all expect is better and the ending much fulfilling Now why read a book first published in 1880 To be honest as a kid I liked "The Movie Though After Reading This Book "movie though after reading this book think Charleton Heston was horribly miscast as a Jewish man in his late 20s to early 30s Later in my fascination with history I learned that the author of Ben Hur was Lew Wallace a Union general in our Civil War I Thought It Very Odd it very odd a general of Wallace s repute would be writing a novel and a novel such as this one So I was curious about this book and got even curious when I learned that it was the most popular American novel of the 19th century surpassing Uncle Tom s Cabin Life however doesn t always allow us to satisfy our curiosities whenever we please and I The Cello Suites : J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the search for a Baroque masterpiece just never got around to reading this book until nowI have to admit that I think the knowledge gained from seeing the movie did reduce the tension that one might have had if the movie had not been seen Nevertheless I did find the book written better than I expected I have read books written in the 19th century and have found the written language of that time to be very formal and stiff in fact uite dull and that was what I expected in this book I am pleased to say my expectation was not met While Wallace did his best to replicate the language styles of the Biblical era his writing otherwise was almost modern in its usage I was also very impressed with the amount of research the general had to do to write this historical fiction as he had never been to the Holy Land I knew that after the Civil War Wallace became the territorial governor of New Mexico and I had the opportunity a few years ago to tour the Old Governor s Palace in Santa Fe where part of this book was written The general s descriptions of the culture and geography of this early Christian Era history is remarkably detailed and I was now curious as to how he managed this accomplishment Thanks to Google I learned that Wallace spent of great deal of time in the Library of Congress specifically researching for this book So the story while probably well known to most readers is well written and its age doesn t show in the reading and it is worth reading After the reading you might experience the same final curiosity that I hadLew Wallace was a military man a man that played a key role in the Civil War and was a man of war Ben Hur is a book set during the life of Christ and the Crucifixion is a pivotal scene in the story Why would such a man write such a book I thought about this while reading and I was able to see parallels between Wallace s story and the Civil War and the Reconstruction The book is about misunderstood causes and rebellion unjust enslavements the useless pursuit of revenge forgiveness and rebuilding Upon thinking about it I could believe the writing of this book might have been very cathartic for a combat general in such a horrible war The book might be very old but it is worth reading and I m glad I didNow I have a uestion that I hope some of you knowledgeable in literary history and trivia can answer The book I have is a Wilder publication from 2011 and it is titled Ben Hur by Lew Wallace however at the top of every lefthand page in bold type is the name Sir Edwin Arnold as though Arnold was the author I Googled Arnold and discovered he was a 19th century author and poet but there was no apparent relationship to Wallace or Ben Hur mentioned I checked Wallace and there was nothing to be found connecting him to Arnold Can anybody explain why Arnold s name is on every page of this boo. This work may contain missing or blurred pages poor pictures errant marks etc Scholars believe and we concur that this work is important enough to be preserved reproduced and made generally available to the public We appreciate your support of the preservation process and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.