Tag Archives: were-wolf

The Phantom Ship (1839) by Captain Frederick Marryat

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Captain Frederick Marryat (1792-1848) was an experienced and highly-regarded naval officer, who had fought with distinction in the Napoleonic wars, during which career he also invented a maritime flag signalling system, which bears his name and is still widely used. As if this weren’t enough, he was also a prolific writer of fiction, wildly popular during the nineteenth century and hugely influential in the adventure genre. He is perhaps best known today for his children’s novels, Mr Midshipman Easy (1836) and The Children of the New Forest (1847).

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The Phantom Ship (1839) is his only overtly supernatural novel. It is based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman – a ghostly vessel cursed to sail around the Cape of Good Hope for all eternity. The novel is a sort of sequel to the legend, in which Philip Vanderdecken, the son of the ship’s Dutch captain, battles to save his father from the curse. One particularly memorable section involves an insert story featuring a werewolf, which has been widely anthologised as ‘The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains’.

The Phantom Ship [Kindle]

The Phantom Ship [Epub]

The Phantom Ship [PDF]

Dracula’s Guest (1914) by Bram Stoker

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Stoker’s posthumous collection of uncollected tales includes a ‘deleted scene’ from his best known novel Dracula (1897), in which Jonathan Harker has a close encounter with a werewolf. The collection also contains ‘The Judge’s House’, a highly regarded haunted house mystery heavily influenced by the work of Stoker’s fellow Irishman Sheridan Le Fanu. The collection’s Wikipedia page contains details of the stories’ original periodical publication, where known.

Dracula’s Guest [Kindle]

Dracula’s Guest [Epub]

Dracula’s Guest [PDF]

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Critical edition:

Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories, edited by Kate Hebblethwaite (Penguin, 2006)

Biography:

Lisa Hopkins, Bram Stoker: A Literary Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Critical studies (selected):

Carol A. Senf, Bram Stoker (Gothic Texts: Critical Revisions (University of Wales Press, 2010)

Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition, edited by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller (McFarland, 2008)

David Glover, Vampires, Mummies and Liberals: Bram Stoker and the Politics of Popular Fiction (Duke University Press, 1996)

More Werewolves

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Below are links to two further significant werewolf books, both from the nineteenth century.

The first is Sabine Baring-Gould’s The Book of Were-Wolves, being an account of a terrible superstition (1865). This was my first brush with werewolf literature and I found it an engaging place to start. The work of a hugely prolific author, historian, antiquarian, folklorist and hymn-writer (most famously ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’), Baring-Gould’s is a level-headed and fascinating look at the werewolf tradition in European folklore. The book also takes in the related phenomenon of lycanthropy, culminating in a shocking account of the atrocities committed by the Gilles de Retz. The Book of Were-Wolves is sometimes unfairly dismissed as too dry and scholarly for the modern reader, but Baring-Gould’s linking of legend with accounts of historically-verifiable happenings is effectively achieved and the effect is often unnerving. At the same time, his determination to see the werewolf not as some ‘superphysical’ entity forgotten by modern science, but as a potent feature of the collective memory of myth is a compelling approach to the subject. It can be downloaded in multiple formats from Project Gutenberg.

The second work on the agenda is Clemence Housman’s The Were-Wolf (1896). Housman was the sister of the poet and classicist A.E. Housman and the author Laurence Housman. As well as being a writer, she was an active campaigner for woman’s suffrage. I had hoped to prepare an ebook edition of Housman’s book for download from this blog but, since it’s still in copyright in the UK, I won’t be able to do this. However, since this is one of the earliest examples of the werewolf novel, it would be a shame not to draw attention to the online version at Project Gutenberg. This edition is fully illustrated and available to download in multiple formats!

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