Revealing Guernsey's ancient history in fact and fiction

Goodall, Peter (2016) Revealing Guernsey's ancient history in fact and fiction. Shima: the International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, 10 (2). pp. 118-128. ISSN 1834-6049

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In G. B. Edwards’ novel of 20th Century Guernsey life, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page (1981), Ebenezer becomes the unlikely custodian of an ‘ancient monument’ discovered on his land. The incident is treated, in the main, as a topic for comedy—a part of the novel’s satire of the many pretences and frauds of modern Guernsey—but the underlying issues should not be lightly put aside. ‘Les Fouaillages’, a megalithic site discovered in 1978, the year after Edwards’s death, on L’Ancresse Common, a short walk from the place where the fictional Ebenezer spent his whole life, is thought to be 6000 years old, and has a claim to be amongst the oldest built sites on the planet. There are many other ancient sites and monuments on this small island, as there are on the neighbouring Channel Island of Jersey. This article looks at the interconnected yet contrasting ways in which this extraordinary legacy on Guernsey has been revealed and described: the scholarly discourse of archaeology, the myth and legend of the popular imagination, and the literature of Guernsey’s poets and novelists.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: ArticleFirst version made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerives 3.0 Unported License.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 04:11
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2017 05:00
Uncontrolled Keywords: Guernsey; Neolithic Age; megaliths; G. B. Edwards; Victor Hugo
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200503 British and Irish Literature
21 History and Archaeology > 2101 Archaeology > 210105 Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200511 Literature in French
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.21463/shima.10.2.12

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