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The Werewolf in Lore and Legend
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The Werewolf in Lore and Legend

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The first definitive work on werewolfery, this book was written by a venerable author of occult studies. Unsurpassed in its sheer scope and depth, it employs a theological and philosophical approach, incorporating an extensive range of historical documentation and folklore. Summers examines the supernatural practice of shapeshifting, notes the finer distinctions between we...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 19th 2003 by Dover Publications (first published 1933)
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Despite the untranslated Greek, Latin, German, and French and the overwhelmingly dry, academic tone, I found this book somewhat useful. While it is more dry than the Sahara, it lists about every werewolf story and thensome--much to my nerdly delight. If you have an interest in this subject and want an incredibly exhaustive list, it's worth finding (if you can handle it). At a time when most current books on the subject love to fill in the gaps with fictitious information (as seems to be the case...more
Apr 14, 2009 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: werewolf writers
Shelves: werewolf-reads
"lykanthropy I comprehend, for without transformation
Men become wolves on any slight occasion" _Byron_Don Juan
This book is a monumental work of anthropology. Thus it is rife with references and science speech and footnotes and other languages. Which aren't translated in text. It was also written in the 1930's, so the English you can understand is slightly archaic.
I skipped the first part and went on to the werewolf legends separated by region in which I found much information and inspiration.
Meri Elena
This is a comprehensive and scholarly approach to werewolfism. It can be a bit difficult to get through at times, especially the the first chapter. Summers seems to be a historian, and therefore assumes that if you are reading his book you must be too, and by extension you obviously know how to read German, French, and Latin. I actually do know a bit of Latin, fortunately, but the other passages he quoted might as well have been jibberish. I skimmed, and once I got past the foreign language part...more
Curtis Runstedler
Montague Summers' book on werewolves is exhaustively researched and draws from a wealth of medieval, Greek, Latin, and early Modern manuscripts. The results are very informative and beautifully written. For some reason, he seems to believe in werewolves, which doesn't make much sense. As well, readers without a thorough Latin or Greek background may find his untranslated passages challenging to decipher. Still, for scholastic documentation and history, Summers' work is one of the best.
Tonjia Atomic
-very long-winded and pseudo-academic. However, I enjoyed reading it for the aspect of learning new folklore. The actual writing and information passed on was questionable. I mean, this guy actually believes in real werewolves -that describes the color of the book right there. Also, he quotes other sources in the original language and drops Latin phrases whenever he gets the opportunity. Half of the book was entertaining and informative, at least, in the way that it exposed a certain mindset.
A strange and fascinating book written by an eccentric clergyman. He believes in werewolves... or does he? He is certainly well read and often quotes from material that has not been translated. I loved his unashamed politically incorrect commentary.
Lori Schiele
I was disappointed by this book. It covered a lot of the history of the werewolf legend but wasn't very interesting. The writing was dry.
Feb 18, 2009 Mila added it
There is too much quoting of other texts in different languages. I have to skip through sentences and paragraphs at a time.
Joseph Patchen
A wonderful piece of scholarship giving the reader a marvelous basis in the legend and lore of this monster.
More of a reference book than anything. It is certainly thorough, if nothing else.
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Augustus Montague Summers (10 April 1880 – 10 August 1948) was an eccentric English author and clergyman. He is known primarily for his scholarly work on the English drama of the 17th century, as well as for his idiosyncratic studies on witches, vampires, and werewolves, in all of which he professed to believe. He was responsible for the first English translation, published in 1928, of the notorio...more
More about Montague Summers...
The History of Witchcraft and Demonology Vampires and Vampirism The Vampire in Lore and Legend Witchcraft and Black Magic The Supernatural Omnibus: Being a Collection of Stories of Apparitions, Witchcraft, Werewolves, Diabolism, Necromancy, Satanism, Divination, Sorcery, Goetry, Voodoo, Possession, Occult, Doom and Destiny

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