Now that we have a roaring bonfire going,
why don't we make it relevant to the list.
Guy Fawkes Day is a commemoration of an event
using the tradition of burning in effigy.
One irony is that the ol' fox was a mercenary caught in the act.
He died for money, not a cause.
It seems that ritual bonfires as a hold over from pagan religions
happened at precisely that time. The Golden Bough to wit.
Any chance of connecting the Guy Fawkes tradition with the
earlier pagan rituals?
An adjunct issue would be a similar cultic tradition of
bonfires on the first Sunday of Lent (ie the first Sunday AFTER
ASH Wednesday). There was the practical dimension of
refertilising the field through a kind of firey purgation --
a cauterising perhaps. One of the forms the fires took
was that of bales on fire rolled down hills -- the origin,
acc. to Fraser, of the Catherine wheel, a favourite
image of the wheel of fortune in MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL.
Look up FIRE FESTIVALS in Europe in The Golden Bough.
These fragments seem to point to something in Eliot.
Any suggestions for how to put them together?
Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
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