The legend of a dog which is unjustly killed by its master in error, after it has defended his child from attack by a snake or wolf, appears in several popular cultures of Indo-European origin. This book concentrates on one local manifestation of the legend: a cult among the peasants of the Dombes, north of Lyons, who brought their sick child to the grave of 'Saint Guinefort', the martyred greyhound, for preservation from disease. Providing a rare access to the underlying cultural traditions of Europe, all too often submerged in the survivals of literate culture, this book will be welcomed by a wide range of historians and anthropologists.
Part I. The Inquisitor; Part II. The Legend and the Rite; Part III. Saint Guinefort; Part IV. Narrative Time, Historical Time; Notes; Bibliography; Index.