Ben-Hur is a fictionalization of the events of Christ's life, beginning with the Nativity and ending with the Crucifixion. The story uses a parallel structure to simultaneously explore the life of Judah Ben-Hur, a Hebrew prince who lived in the time of Christ. This remarkable work of historical fiction reshaped the landscape of American popular literature and prompted millions of readers to reevaluate their personal views of Christianity.
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About the Author
Lew Wallace was an American lawyer, soldier, politician and author. During active duty as a second lieutenant in the Mexican-American War, Wallace met Abraham Lincoln, who would later inspire him to join the Republican Party and fight for the Union in the American Civil War. Following the end of the war, Wallace retired from the army and began writing, completing his most famous work, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ while serving as the governor of New Mexico Territory. Ben-Hur would go on to become the best-selling American novel of the nineteenth century, and is noted as one of the most influential Christian books ever written. Although Ben-Hur is his most famous work, Wallace published continuously throughout his lifetime. Other notable titles include, The Boyhood of Christ, The Prince of India, several biographies and his own autobiography. Wallace died in 1909 at the age of 77, after a lifetime of service in the American army and government.