The White Devil
The Werewolf in European Culture
Distributed for Reaktion Books
From Ovid’s Lycaon to Professor Lupin, from Teen Wolf to An American Werewolf in Paris, the lycanthrope, or werewolf, comes to us frequently on the page and the silver screen. These interpretations often display lycanthropy as a curse, with the afflicted person becoming an uncontrollable, feral beast during every full moon. But this is just one version of the werewolf—its origins can be traced back thousands of years to early prehistory, and everything from Iron Age bog bodies and Roman gods to people such as Joan of Arc, Adolf Hitler, and Sigmund Freud feature in its story. Exploring the role of this odd assortment of ideas and people in the myth, The White Devil tracks the development of the werewolf from its birth to the present day, seeking to understand why the wolf curse continues to hold a firm grip on the modern imagination.
Part One: The Cult of the Wolf
1 Of Man and Beast: The Prehistoric Cults of Europe
2 The Wolves of Rome: Classical Accounts of the Werewolf Myth
3 Fits of Fury: The Wolves of Germania
Part Two: Magic and Mayhem
4 The Medieval Wolf
5 A Cruel and Savage Beast: The Werewolf in Folklore
6 Of Wolf and Man: Werewolf Cases from Europe
Part Three: Darkness Visible
7 Methods to the Madness: Medical Explanations of the Werewolf Myth
8 Evolution Creates Dissolution: The End of the Myth?