“The Book of Were-Wolves” by Sabine Baring-Gould

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If you want to read a book about werewolves that doesn’t involve Twilight (even though they’re shapeshifters anyway…) The Book of Were-Wolves by Sabine Baring-Gould might be the book for you.

Rather than a piece of fiction, The Book of Were-Wolves is based off of historical tales and facts pieced together into 16 chapters weaving the origination of how the myth of the werewolf began to spread.

Although it was very historical I absolutely loved this book. It was something different from what I usually read so it was a nice break from the fantasy and fiction. It also brought information that I didn’t know about. Gould uses examples from literature and from actual accounts of men and women who believed they were wolves. Sometimes this involved witchcraft and more likely than not working with the devil. But eventually those inflicted were soon to be seen as patients with a mental disorder, a fact I had read previously in a psychology text book.

He also looks at how the Greeks, the French, and others saw werewolves. That was something I really liked about this because not every culture had the same views. Some people thought werewolves were akin to vampires and that when a werewolf dies it turns into a vampire.And not only did it focus on the werewolf, but other creatures that the wicked were known to transform into: bears, cats, owls, and swans.

266 pages long, The Book of Were-Wolves is actually a bit shorter than that after you take the format of the pages into account. The print only takes up about half the page, so a 30 page chapter took me only half the time it would’ve taken if the words filled the entire page.

Overall, though, this was a very educational and interesting read. Not really a piece for someone looking for a fictional getaway, but definitely for the scholar interested in mythology and the beginnings of myths.

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