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The Beast Within/a History of the Werewolf

Douglas, Adam

ISBN 10: 1855925745 / ISBN 13: 9781855925748
Published by London: Chapmans Publishers Ltd, 1993
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From March Hare Books (El Segundo, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First printing. Illustrated. A history of one of man's most potent symbols, ranging from early Palaeolithic animal cults to modern psychiatric wards, examining lycanthropy in Classical Greece and Ancient Egypt, in Celtic, Norse and even Christian mythology. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 002300

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Beast Within/a History of the Werewolf

Publisher: London: Chapmans Publishers Ltd

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Most people know about werewolves only from the fevered imagination of some Hollywood scriptwriter. But where did the image of a mild human transformed into a snarling animal come from? Why is the terrible change supposed to take place at the full moon? And why should silver bullets be supposed to lift the curse brought on by a dreadful midnight encounter? This book is about the history of one of our most potent symbols. It ranges from early Palaeolithic animal cults to modern psychiatric wards. It examines lycanthropy in Classical Greece and Ancient Egypt, in Celtic, Norse and even Christian mythology - a bloodline which produced the Monsters and Dog-Heads of the Middle Ages (and fascinating accounts of beneficent werewolves), and the zenith of the witchcraft trials of the 16th and 17th centuries, when alleged werewolves were burnts for their diabolical practices. Many rational "scientific" explanations have been proposed to account for werewolves, such as undiagnozed psychiatric illness or the ingestion of naturally occurring hallucinogens; other authorities invoke shamanistic cults or the tricksters and shape-shifters of many mythologies. But while lycanthropy remains a powerful force in many traditional societies, in the West the werewolf lives on above all in the cinema, whether in the guise of Lon Chaney or in films like "Wolfen". This book brings history, mythology, culture and psychiatry to bear upon a compelling story.

From Booklist:

Going beyond Hollywood's silly silver screen werewolf, Douglas recaptures the rich and varied legends of wolfpeople that have potently haunted generations through the ages. This comprehensive history benefits from the tools of anthropology, mythology, and psychology and begins in the paleolithic era when men dressed in wolf skins to gain predatory prowess. It continues into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when suspected werewolves were burned at the stake and concludes with clinical accounts of modern lycanthropes. Although the work only teases at broad cultural analysis, it is very readable and a virtual encyclopedia of werewolf lore. Doyle Quiggle

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