Recently spent my time researching werewolves in-depth for my dissertation, and I thought I’d share with you some of the most useful sources I’ve encountered that will hopefully push your thinking further than most sensationalist (and frankly simplistic) sources you mostly find. Surprisingly, despite werewolves having a long history in culture and literature, they haven’t had much of a sustained analysis in any meaningful depth. So, here’s a list of the most useful sources I’ve found. I hope you find them useful!
Baring-Gould, Sabine. Book of Werewolves: Were-Wolf History and Folklore. 1865. New York: Cosimo. 2009. Print.
- The earliest book on werewolves that isn’t a demonology. Its a useful mix of sourcebook of harder to find texts and theory. Originally written in 1865, but still useful, and used by a lot of 19th century writers.
Du Coudray, Chantal Bourgault. The Curse of the Werewolf: Fantasy, Horror, and the Beast Within. London: I.B. Tauris. 2006. Print.
- Academic book on werewolves that looks at them throughout time. Begins at the end to deal with werewolves in fantasy genres, as opposed to horror films and Gothic fiction. Only briefly begins to question how the werewolf could be a positive figure.
Frost, Brian. The Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 2003. Print.
- A book surveying very briefly a vast amount of literature. Useful to potentially construct a reading list of fiction, however, a lot of articles are listed or skimmed over in one line of analysis. Some works stand out, and are discussed in greater detail. It is not, however an analysis of the myth.
Marvin, Garry. Wolf. London: Reaktion. 2012. Print.
- Part of a series by the publisher on other animals, ‘Wolf’ details scientific information on the real animal, and then devotes a section to the fear of the wolf - and notably, the werewolf myth.
Otten, Charlotte., ed. A Lycanthropy Reader: Werewolves in Western Culture. New York: Syracuse University Press. 1986. Print.
- A reader of harder to find stories and essays on werewolves. This is not an analytical book, it is sources.
—. The Literary Werewolf: An Anthology. New York: Syracuse University Press. 2002. Print.
- Another book by the previous author, it is an anthology of werewolf fiction. Some are older, some are 19th and 20th century. Consider secondary research, to see how the writing has changed.
Sconduto, Leslie. Metamorphoses of the Werewolf: A Literary Study From Antiquity through the Renaissance. London: McFarland & Company Inc. 2008. Print.
- A very interesting academic book, focusing on four werewolf stories from the twelfth century. It’s surprising because they all treat the werewolf as a sympathetic figure. Be warned, this is an academic analysis of the texts, not a analysis of the myth.
Stypczynski, Brent. The Modern Literary Werewolf: A Critical Study of the Mutable Motif. London: McFarland & Company Inc. 2013. Print.
- An interesting analysis of werewolves in modern texts, by authors such as Pratchett and Rowling.
Summers, Montague. The Werewolf in Lore and Legend. 1933. New York: Dover Publications. 2003. Print.
- An old text on werewolves written in 1933. Interesting, but sometimes very hard reading, and, a bit over the top at times. Take pinches of salt.
Easley, Alexis., and Shannon Scott, eds. Terrifying Transformations: An Anthology of Victorian Werewolf Fiction. Kansas City: Valancourt Books. 2013. Print.
- Another anthology of werewolf fiction, useful to read some lesser known works of werewolf literature.
Beresford, Matthew. The White Devil: The Werewolf in European Culture. London, Reaktion. 2013. Print.
- A useful book about werewolves that looks at neolithic inspiration for the myth, as well as familiar and modern aspects.