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, 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 death-in-life 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."