The case of the cut-off hand
Angela Carter’s werewolves in historical perspective
in She-wolf
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The film The Company of Wolves, was directed by Neil Jordan from a script he co-wrote with Angela Carter. It is necessary to frame the discussion by engaging with the discourse surrounding Neil Jordan's and, especially, Angela Carter's work. When Carter published her werewolf stories, folklorists were debating how to categorise 'Little Red Riding Hood'. The story 'Peau d'âne' resembles werewolf stories because of the shared animal skin. Female werewolves were very hard to find in Western European folklore texts, with their overwhelming majority of male werewolves. The medieval incest stories seem to stand apart from the werewolf stories. There is a transgression in the other main incest story cluster: the Maiden Without Hands, where the father-daughter union is first consummated and later avoided. Father-daughter incest was a theme in many medieval narratives and its history reaches back into the thirteenth century, to the French poem La Manekine.


A cultural history of female werewolves

Editor: Hannah Priest


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