A Country for the Savant: Paganism, Popular Fiction and the Invention of Greece, 1914-1966


  • Nick Freeman Loughborough University




Pagan, Greece, Classics


This essay explores the ways in which certain British writers reimagined Greece in the period 1914-66. It is especially concerned with the ways in which Greece represents a ‘pagan’ space in which characters encounter modes of living and belief far removed from those they are used to. With particular reference to John Buchan, Sarban, and Robert Aickman, the essay argues that the disparity between ‘real’ and ‘imagined’ Greece led writers into the deliberate fictionalisation of Mediterranean islands in search of a ‘paganism’ that may or may not actually exist.

Author Biography

Nick Freeman, Loughborough University

Senior Lecturer in English. Author of *Conceiving the City: London, Literature, and Art, 1870-1914* (Oxford University Press, 2007) and many articles on late-Victorian literature and culture.


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———‘The Shrineless God: Paganism, Literature and Art in Forties’ Britain’, The Pomegranate: The Journal of Pagan Studies 6.2 (November 2004), 157-74.

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How to Cite

Freeman, N. (2008). A Country for the Savant: Paganism, Popular Fiction and the Invention of Greece, 1914-1966. Pomegranate, 10(1), 21–40. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v10i1.21