by Lew Wallace
Publisher: Dover Publications
Mass market paperback
Price: $7.00

Betrayed by his best friend and enslaved by the Romans, Judah Ben-Hur seeks revenge but instead finds redemption through his encounters with Jesus Christ. Generations have thrilled to the sacred destiny of the mighty charioteer Ben-Hur, whose enduring tale began as a bestselling 1880 novel that later inspired equally popular stage and film interpretations. Combining the appeal of a historical adventure with a heartfelt message of Christian love and compassion, the story blends the visceral excitement of a quest for vengeance with the spiritual thrill of forgiveness.

Author Lew Wallace—a Civil War general, politician (he wrote this during his tenure as New Mexico governor), and diplomat—conducted meticulous research into the ancient world to bring a vivid immediacy to his characters and settings, from life as a Roman galley slave, to the living death of exile, to a Jerusalem leper colony. The novel's countless admirers included President James A. Garfield, a former professor of literature, who told the author, "With this beautiful and reverent book you have lightened the burden of my daily life."

Reprint of the Harper & Brothers, New York, 1880 edition.

Fun fact: to determine if a copy is a first edition, look at its dedication. First editions are dedicated "To the wife of my youth." Even though she wasn't deceased, Wallace received many letters of condolence, so future printings added the phrase "who still abides with me."

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Exodus Rating
FLAWS: Violence, sexual allusions
Summary: A young Jewish noble survives arrest, pirates, Roman citizenship, and the Circus to find true love in a leper colony and faith at the foot of the Cross.

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