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The Delectable Mountains are one of the rest havens for the pilgrims travelling to the Celestial City in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Christian is shown them from the House Beautiful, and he sees "a most pleasant Mountainous Country, beautified with Woods, Vineyards, Fruits of all sorts; Flowers also, with Springs and Fountains, very delectable to behold." They are also called "Immanuel's Land," a biblical allusion to Isaiah 8:8. When Christian and Hopeful arrive there they find that it is on these mountains that Immanuel's sheep are pastured by shepherds, who are named Knowledge, Experience, Watchful, and Sincere. In the first part of The Pilgrim's Progress the specific mountains, Error, Caution, and Clear are shown to the pilgrim's. It is from Mt. Clear that the pilgrim's are given a "Perspective Glass" to see the gates of the Celestial City. In the second part it is discovered that the shepherds have a palace besides their tents, and they show the pilgrim's some of the other mountains, Marvel, Innocent, and Charity.

The Delectable Mountains are said to have been inspired by the chalk hills of North Eastern Hertfordshiremarker, the start of the Chilternsmarker, as seen from the great clay plain of Bedfordshire below. John Brown, the author of Bunyan, his Life, Times and Work, proposed Leith Hillmarker in Surrey as the site Bunyan used as a model for his Delectable Mountains. James Wharey and Roger Sharrock opine that this is implausible.

References

  1. John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, W.R. Owens, ed., Oxford World's Classics, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1966), 54, 115-119, 265-269.
  2. Brown, 269-270 cited in John Bunyan, The Pilgrims Progress from this World to That which is to Come, James Blanton Wharey and Roger Sharrock, eds., 2nd ed., (London: Oxford University Press, 1960), 332.



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