Written by a venerable author of occult studies, The Werewolf in Lore and Legend is the first definitive book on werewolfery and the remarkable successor to Montague Summers‘s popular work, The Vampire. Unsurpassed in its sheer scope and depth, it employs an extensive range of historical documentation and folklore from throughout Europe to powerfully portray the horror associated with belief in werewolves.
Summers adopts a comprehensive theological and philosophical approach, cataloging a series of literary connections between witch and wolf. Drawing upon the work of anthropologists, totemists, and rationalists, he examines the supernatural practice of shapeshifting, notes the finer distinctions between werewolfery and lycanthropy, and explores the differences of opinion on exactly how ordinary humans are transformed into creatures of “unbridled cruelty, bestial ferocity, and ravening hunger.”
The author’s Gothic style, rich in fascinating examples and anecdotes, offers compelling fare for lovers of esoteric lore. Even the most skeptical of readers can appreciate the evocative ways in which The Werewolf in Lore and Legend conveys the dread of those for whom these monsters were not mere superstition but terrifying reality.