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The Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature

Brian J. Frost

Publication Year: 2004

In this fascinating book, Brian J. Frost presents the first full-scale survey of werewolf literature covering both fiction and nonfiction works. He identifies principal elements in the werewolf myth, considers various theories of the phenomenon of shapeshifting, surveys nonfiction books, and traces the myth from its origins in ancient superstitions to its modern representations in fantasy and horror fiction. Frost’s analysis encompasses fanciful medieval beliefs, popular works by Victorian authors, scholarly treatises and medical papers, and short stories from pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s. Revealing the complex nature of the werewolf phenomenon and its tremendous and continuing influence, The Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature is destined to become a standard reference on the subject.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-9

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pp. ix-xii

The present volume is the first full-scale survey of werewolf literature covering both fiction and nonfiction works, and although primarily intended as a guide for collectors and researchers it should be of interest to all devotees of the horror genre. Chapter I identifies the main elements in the werewolf myth and considers some of the intriguing theories...

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pp. xiii-17

Writing this book has been a painstaking and at times frustrating labor of love, involving years of hard toil. Fortunately I was able to count on the support of two of the world's greatest authorities on weird fiction, Richard Dalby and Mike...

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1. The Werewolf Phenomenon

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pp. 3-29

From time immemorial the dark domain of the supernatural has been the habitat of a host of nightmarish monsters, but none are more terrifying or enjoy as much popular appeal as the werewolf. Traditionally depicted as the embodiment of evil, this strange phenomenon is regarded by occultists...

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2. A Survey of Reference Works

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pp. 30-49

Lycanthropy has fascinated scholars and philosophers since the days of ancient Greece and Rome, and has been treated or briefly referred to by many authors throughout the centuries. The first important studies were written in the sixteenth century by leading theologians and senior members of the judiciary, all of whom discussed the subject in...

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3. The Werewolf Enters Fiction

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pp. 50-105

The earliest werewolf stories were in the form of poems and trace their origins back to the myths and legends of antiquity, in which metamorphosis into animal form is a frequent-almost natural-phenomenon. The theme's first significant expression in literature was in Virgil's eighth Eclogue...

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4. A New Approach

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pp. 106-143

In the period immediately after World War I it might have seemed to most observers that the werewolf story had run its course and had no further capacity for development. However, there was a phenomenon taking place in the United States that would not only rekindle interest in the theme but...

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5. The Beast Within

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pp. 144-186

The vigor and inventiveness of the pulp stories found few echoes in the werewolf novels of the 1930S, most of which were routine potboilers revolving around stock situations. One of the few to rise above the general mediocrity was The Wolf's...

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6. The Boom Years

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pp. 187-238

In the 1970S a sudden groundswell in the popularity of horror novels and films had publishers and producers snapping up virtually every property they could lay their hands on in an effort to feed the momentarily insatiable appetite of the reading and viewing public. A welcome bonus for werewolf...

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7. Werewolf Anthologies

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pp. 239-258

Because many of the short stories mentioned in this survey are buried in old books and magazines, the easiest way to gain access to a sizable chunk of them is through anthologies devoted exclusively to werewolf stories. Fortunately these anthologies are a relatively recent phenomenon-dating back only to the mid- 196os-and most, therefore...


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pp. 259-332


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pp. 333-364

Other Works in the Series

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pp. 365-381

E-ISBN-13: 9780879728861
E-ISBN-10: 0879728868
Print-ISBN-13: 9780879728601
Print-ISBN-10: 0879728604

Page Count: 384
Publication Year: 2004