A cultural history of female werewolves

Edited by Hannah Priest



  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1689-5
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: June 2017
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literature, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, LITERARY CRITICISM / Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy romance


She-wolf explores the cultural history of the female werewolf, from her first appearance in medieval literature to recent incarnations in film, television and popular literature. The book includes contributors from various disciplines, and offers a cross-period, interdisciplinary exploration of a perennially popular cultural production. The book covers material from the Middle Ages to the present day with chapters on folklore, history, witch trials, Victorian literature, young adult literature, film and gaming. Considering issues such as religious and social contexts, colonialism, constructions of racial and gendered identities, corporeality and subjectivity - as well as female body hair, sexuality and violence - She-wolf reveals the varied ways in which the female werewolf is a manifestation of complex cultural anxieties, as well as a site of continued fascination.


'The chapters address many of the standards in werewolf literature but, ultimately, they strive to challenge this canon, arguing both that werewolf literature is not restrictively a masculine archetype and that feminist studies of the wild woman should not simply sweep she-werewolves under the monstrous feminine rug. But by the end even with these complications - and contradictions - they merge at last, readers will find, into a multifaceted beast who stares readers in the eye and grins wickedly, hungrily. For, after all, like the adolescent protagonist giggling in the burly wolf's arms in Angela Carter's "The Company of Wolves", "[we are] nobody's meat".'
Jonathan W. Thurston, Michigan State University, Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research

'Overall, the collection delivers on its promise to "take ... a specific and localised approach, revealing historical, literary, cinematic and folkloric contexts for iterations of the female lycanthrope" ... In general, the volume, both in its entirety and as individual chapters, will interest cultural historians, English and comparative literature scholars, and film/media and area studies specialists, and could be employed in lower-level and upper-division courses on the topic.'
Svitlana Krys, MacEwan University, HNet Online


1. Introduction: A history of female werewolves - Hannah Priest
2. Estonian werewolf legends collected from the island of Saaremaa - Merili Metsvahi
3. 'She transformed into a werewolf, devouring and killing two children': trials of she-werewolves in early modern French Burgundy - Rolf Schulte
4. Participatory lycanthropy: female werewolves in Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Jay Cate
5. Fur girls and wolf women: fur, hair and subversive female lycanthropy - Jazmina Cininas
6. Female werewolf as monstrous other in Honoré Beaugrand's 'The Werewolves' Shannon Scott
7. 'The complex and antagonistic forces that constitute one soul': conflict between societal expectations and individual desires in Clemence Housman's 'The Werewolf' and Rosamund Marriott Watson's 'A Ballad of the Were-wolf' - Carys Crossen
8. I was a teenage she-wolf: boobs, blood and sacrifice - Hannah Priest
9. The case of the cut off hand: Angela Carter's werewolves in historical perspective - Willem de Blécourt
10. The she-wolves of horror cinema - Peter Hutchings
11. Ginger Snaps: the monstrous feminine as femme animale - Barbara Creed
12. Dans Ma Peau: shape-shifting and subjectivity - Laura Wilson


Hannah Priest is an Honorary Research Fellow at Swansea University

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout