Saviourgate by Russell Kirk:
Saviourgate by Russell Kirk is a Christmas story of hope and redemption, set in a cosy English pub on Christmas Eve. Not everything is as it first seems for our Canadian visitor.
Check out Behind the Stumps another episode by Russell Kirk, for an altogether different mood and outcome
Scott Beauchamp has written a review of Russell Kirk’s ghost stories for the Imaginative Conservative Magazine which includes an analysis of Saviourgate. You can read it here.
Key themes in Kirk’s work are tradition and how we are linked by obligation and duty to our ancestors. The feeling that a man must shoulder his burden to be truly honourable is a central thesis of this story Saviourgate. There is a moral dilemma towards the end. Finlay’s interlocutors have spoken. They have told him he is welcome at the Cross Keys, they find a bed for him to rest, but they also stand by while he makes his decision to shoulder his burden and importantly, not let down his ailing wife. A man must choose to do his duty, but it is always his choice.
However, Saviourgate by Russell Kirk never dispenses with the idea of grace. It is grace that brings him to this point, but Finaly’s own grit that leads him to choose to do his duty. It is his duty not to kill himself or accept death but to continue to struggle and with spirit and grace, achieve a good outcome.
We do another story by Russell Kirk here