310 . BEN HUR . LEW WALLACE
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Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a novel by Lew Wallace published Harper in 1880, and considered “the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century”.
Ben-Hur remained at the top of the US all-time bestseller list until the publication of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind (1936).
The 1959 MGM film adaptation of Ben-Hur is considered one of the greatest films ever made and was seen by tens of millions, going on to win a record 11 Academy Awards in 1960 .
It was blessed by Pope Leo XIII, the first novel ever to receive such praise.
The story recounts the adventures of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince from Jerusalem, who is enslaved by the Romans at the beginning of the first 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.