A deluxe Harper Perennial Legacy Edition, with an introduction from John Swansburg, Deputy Editor at Slate One of the best-selling books of all time, Lew Wallace's enduring epic is a tale of revenge, betrayal, honor, compassion and the power of forgiveness, set during the life of Christ. At the beginning of the first century, Judah Ben-Hur lived as a prince, descended from the royal line of Judea and one of Jerusalem's most prosperous merchant families. But his world falls apart when he is betrayed by his best friend, Messala, who falsely accuses him of an attempt to assassinate the Roman governor. Convicted without trial, Judah is sentenced to slavery on a Roman galley, while his mother and sister are imprisoned and his family's assets are seized. All seems lost, but just before boarding the ship, Ben-Hur has his first interaction with the Christ, who offers him water and hope. Their lives continue to intersect as Ben-Hur miraculously survives his time as a slave to become a charioteer, confront his betrayer, Messala, in an epic race, fall in love with the beautiful Esther, avenge his family, and become a follower of the Christ. A true epic, Ben-Hur weaves biblical history and a rich adventure plot into a timeless tale certain to entertain a new generation of readers.