Ben Hur, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


An immediate best-seller on publication, Ben Hur remains a dazzling achievement by any standards.

A thoroughly exhilarating tale of betrayal, revenge and salvation, it is the only novel that ranks with Uncle Tom's Cabin as a genuine American folk possession.

This was the book that finally overcame the inherent suspicion of fiction that still prevailed in much of america in the late nineteenth century.

Wallace writes with a freshness and immediacy that brings every action-packed scene to life and illuminates the geography, ethnology and customs of the ancient world.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853262838


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I have to say I did not find this novel as moving as I did Quo Vadis, that other 19th century novel about early Christianity. It rather dragged in places and some of the characters seemed rather flat. It covers a longer period of time than the famous film, as the first 50 pages concern the birth of Christ and in particular the progress of the Magi. As for other comparisons, the "real" Ben Hur sounds nothing like Charlton Heston, not only physically, but also in that here in the novel his desire for vengeance on Messala comes out more strongly as the chief personal drive of his life. Particular moving moments were the immediate aftermath of the accident that led to Ben Hur's arrest and that of his family and the later discovery of the appalling treatment and condition of his mother (unnamed for some reason) and sister Tirzah. In sum, I'm glad I read this novel, but it was a bit of a struggle in parts.

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