"Summersby" is actually a thinly modernized retelling of "The Return of
Martin Guerre"---a true story of stolen identity from ealry modern France.
Natalie Zemon Davis did a study of the case, and there's a great movie
version of it. There is absolutely no religious subtext that I've ever
been able to see in the original---is it as clear as Shan suggests in the
And to be horribly prosaic: whatever the law was in the nineteenth-century
U.S., it was certainly a capital crime in the sixteenth century to steal
somebody's land and wife.
>There was a marvellous film about a man who returns from the Civil War (USA)
>to his aristocratic wife and then with her, rejuvenates the failing fortunes
>of the estate, including the ordinary working people. Poignant footage
>displays their struggle to save the harvest etc.
>He is then exposed as an impostor and not her husband at all. A court case
>ensues and for some reson I can't remember, he is executed.
>The story is clearly an analogue of the Sacrificial God who is chosen by the
>Goddess to revive her and the Land (in the film the wife knows he is not her
>returned husband but chooses to let him stay as if he were). His death is
>clearly marked as the sacrifice of a blameless male for the good of the
>Sorry I can't remember the name. I'm sure someone else will.
>Associate Lecturer, University College Chichester
>Ovular - online education
>ONLINE EVENTS NOTICEBOARD RELIGION & GENDER
>RELIGION & GENDER ONLINE FEB 15 -MAR 29
Dr. Phyllis G. Jestice
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