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A cultural history of female werewolves
Editor: Hannah Priest

This book explores the cultural history of the female werewolf, from her first appearance in medieval literature to recent incarnations in film, television and popular literature. It focuses on folkloric records of the island of Saaremaa, Estonia, a territory in which, unusually, there are more folktales of female werewolves than male. The book also explores tropes and strategies of feminisation evident in Werewolf: The Apocalypse to reveal an almost unique disavowal of the masculine werewolf in favour of traditions of presenting the female werewolf. The examination of Honoré Beaugrand's 'The Werewolves' offers fruitful discussion of the female werewolf's integration into colonial discourse and narrative. In the nineteenth century, at the fin de siècle, female authors began to produce fiction about the female werewolf. Two of the most interesting examples of this, which have been curiously neglected by critics, are Clemence Housman's novella The Werewolf and Rosamund Marriott Watson's poem 'A Ballad of the Were-wolf', written under the pseudonym Graham R. Tomson and published in 1891. Then, the book examines twenty-first-century young adult paranormal romance texts, considering the ways in which such texts associate lycanthropy with contemporary idealisations and constructions of the post-adolescent female. It explores presentations of body-centred violence in film, drawing parallels between female werewolves and other violent females in horror cinema. Finally, the book also examines cinematic representations of the femme animale with an exploration of how this conceptualisation of the feminine might inform a reading of Ginger Snaps.

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A history of female werewolves
Hannah Priest

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores particular moments of the female werewolf narrative to reveal a variety of cultural assumptions, narrative tropes and putative archetypes of femaleness and femininity. It explains folkloric records of the island of Saaremaa, Estonia, a territory in which, unusually, there are more folktales of female werewolves than male. The book examines twenty-first-century young adult paranormal romance texts, considering the ways in which such texts associate lycanthropy with contemporary idealisations and constructions of the post-adolescent female. It also explores presentations of body-centred violence in film, drawing parallels between female werewolves and other violent females in horror cinema. The book examines cinematic representations of the femme animale with an exploration of how this conceptualisation of the feminine might inform a reading of Ginger Snaps.

in She-wolf
Boobs, blood and sacrifice
Hannah Priest

This chapter considers the presentations of adolescent female lycanthropes in fantasy fiction written after Neil Jordan's 1984 film, focusing specifically on texts in which a teenage female is both the central character and the intended reader. Gene Fowler Jr.'s I Was a Teenage Werewolf was released in 1957, and presented lycanthropy as related to the hormonally driven male adolescent body in a way that would be revisited by Rod Daniels in his 1985 comedy horror film, Teen Wolf. In the female werewolf young adult (YA) fiction of the early twenty-first century, it is rare to find lycanthropy explicitly associated with menarche, as it is in 'Boobs' and Ginger Snaps. The coincidence of the heroines' names in the Dark Divine and Wolves of Mercy Falls series has interesting implications for a consideration of female werewolves in YA fiction. The concept of 'grace' is an important aspect of characterisation in these novels.

in She-wolf
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Deborah G. Christie, Emma Liggins, Shellie McMurdo, Hannah Priest, and Jillian Wingfield

Gothic Studies