Journal Article

‘Nothing of the Wild Wood’? Pan, Paganism and Spiritual Confusion in E.F. Benson's ‘The Man Who Went Too Far’

Nicholas Freeman

in Literature and Theology

Volume 19, issue 1, pages 22-33
Published in print March 2005 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/19.1.22
‘Nothing of the Wild Wood’? Pan, Paganism and Spiritual Confusion in E.F. Benson's ‘The Man Who Went Too Far’

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This paper examines E.F. Benson's short story, ‘The Man Who Went Too Far’ (1904) in the context of a renewed interest in paganism, specifically the ‘cult of Pan’, in fin de siècle England. It considers Benson's complex cultural position as the son of an Archbishop of Canterbury and the brother of a Papal chamberlain, and investigates the ways in which the story's inconsistent religious allegiances connect with other Edwardian ‘pagan’ writings in mirroring the wider spiritual anxieties of the period.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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