Alan Sillitoe: A Tree on Fire

(2087 words)

A Tree on Fire (1967) is Alan Sillitoe’s fifth novel and the second in the trilogy inaugurated by his previous novel, The Death of William Posters (1965). The “William Posters” of the first volume’s title is a more formal version of “Bill Posters”, the figure of urban myth generated from one of the standard formulations on notices designed to deter fly-posting, “Bill Posters will be prosecuted”. “William Posters”, always hunted though always elusive, functions in the first novel of the trilogy as a symbol of working-class servitude. In that novel, Frank Dawley, eager to kill the “William Posters” within himself, leaves his wife, two young children and a…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Tredell, Nicolas. "A Tree on Fire". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 October 2012
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]