The Shrineless God: Paganism, Literature and Art in Forties. Britain


  • Nick Freeman University of Western England



Victorian paganism, british art, Algernon Blackwood, Jocelyn Brooke, Pressburger, Cecil Collins


This article explores the lingering remnants of a late Victorian paganism in Britain during the 1940s, and traces some of the cultural consequences of the meeting between this and the often propagandist concern with a mythic England seen throughout World War II. A loose network of literary texts, art works and films is examined in order to suggest that the 1940s is a pivotal decade between the relatively genteel and individualistic pagan sympathies of the early twentieth century and the more systematic modes of allegiance that have characterized recent times. The article focuses in detail on Algernon Blackwood.s short story "Roman Remains". (1948), Jocelyn Brooke's novel The Scapegoat< (1948), Powell and Pressburger's film A Canterbury Tale(1944) and the art of Cecil Collins, chiefly The Vision of the Fool (1947).

Author Biography

Nick Freeman, University of Western England

Nick Freeman is lecturer in English at the University of the West of England. His essay ..The Terror of Unseen Things.: Saki and the fin-desi ècle Pagan Revival,. appeared in The Pomegranate 17, August 2001.


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How to Cite

Freeman, N. (2007). The Shrineless God: Paganism, Literature and Art in Forties. Britain. Pomegranate, 6(2), 157–174.