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.
collection discuss historical
context and non-literary/ cinematic iterations of female lycanthropy.
The collection opens with Merili Metsvahi’s examination in Chapter 2 of folkloricrecords of the island of
Saaremaa, Estonia, a territory in which, unusually, there are more
folktales of female werewolves than male. Metsvahi offers a discussion
of this anomaly, with reference to the particular history and geography
. Sometimes the latter were treated with
sympathy by the general public, sometimes not. It would be a mistake
to see police prosecuting unfortunate homeless people, Poor Law
officials grudgingly giving them relief, and people sheltering and
loving them. The police, after all, acted on complaints from the
public. The folklorerecords often recall the homeless with affection
and insist that hospitality was an everyday social obligation, but there
are some notes of wariness. One Mayoman noted that women on
their own (a common feature of Mayo life when the men were
immediately undermine findings, but rather puts
them into perspective. In itself a case of witch assault taken from
newspaper reports would not become less violent when a rare folklore account
or an even rarer diary entry has transmitted other aspects of it. But other
sources may indicate the presence of other cases with less violent endings.
Laura Stark makes a remark to this extent about the folklorerecords she
used as the basis