Saturday, May 19, 2018

Nineteenth Century Werewolf Short Stories Article by Janine Hatter

Janine Hatter is an early-career literary researcher at the University of Hull in the UK. Her recent article on nineteenth century werewolf short stories is insightful and worth a read.  She titled it LYCANTHROPIC LANDSCAPES: AN ECOGOTHIC READING OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY WEREWOLF SHORT STORIES, which is a bit of a mouthful. It widely cites the stories uncovered and annotated in The Best Werewolf Short Stories 1800-1849.

Abstract: "As a hybrid creature, being both human and animal, the werewolf is in a unique position to interact with both rural and urban landscapes – yet this relationship is critically neglected. This article utilises an EcoGothic perspective to interrogate how werewolves influence these settings, specifically examining tales published in the long nineteenth century because this era underwent significant environmental changes, such as the Industrial Revolution, the introduction of new plants and animals, and the extinction of native species. Authors utilized werewolves, and in particular the short story form, to examine the impact these changes had. This article postulates that werewolf literature is representative of a nostalgia for a bygone age as a direct reaction to Industrialisation; that werewolf literature is the most apt genre to demonstrate a conflict between the human world and the natural environment because of its hybrid state; that werewolves prefer nature in both their animal and human forms, indicating an affinity for this landscape; that nature returns this preferential treatment through subtly influencing the narrative and by claiming back human settlements; and that this harking back to a purer ‘natural’ landscape pre-figures our own ecological outlook."

Read the entire article:

Check out the synopsis of the anthology: Transformation of the werewolf in literature made its greatest strides in the 19th century when the shape-shifting monster leaped from poetry to the short story. It happened when this shorter form of literature was morphing into darker shapes thanks in no small part to Edgar Allan Poe, Honoré de Balzac, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Prosper Mérimée, James Hogg, and so many others in Europe and the United States.The fifty year period between 1800 and 1849 is truly the cradle of all werewolf short stories. For the first time in one anthology, Andrew Barger, award winning author of The Best Horror Short Stories 1800-1849: A Classic Horror Anthology, has compiled the best werewolf stories from this period.

1831The Man-Wolf - Leitch Ritche (1800-1865)
1846 A Story of a Weir-Wolf - Catherine Crowe (1790-1872)
1828 The Wehr-Wolf: A Legend of the Limousin - Richard Thomson (1794-1865)
1839 The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains - Captain Frederick Marryat (1792-1848)
1838 Hugues the Wer-Wolf: A Kentish Legend of the Middle Ages - Sutherland Menzies [Mrs. Elizabeth Stone] (1806-1883)

WEREWOLFNEWS.COM: Barger's enthusiasm for the material is evident on every page: the commentary and the depth of the research which informs it . . ..

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW: After an informed and informative introduction on the subject by Andrew Barger, five of these stories are presented in full, followed by a listing of short stories considered from 1800 to 1849, along with an index of Real Names. A seminal work of impressive scholarship, The Best Werewolf Short Stories 1800-1849: A Classic Werewolf Anthology is highly recommended reading for fantasy fans, and a valued addition to academic library Literary Studies reference collections.

#JanineHatter #BestWerewolfStories #AndrewBarger