In the company of wolves – A Q&A with Sam George and Bill Hughes

Posted by Bethan Hirst - Monday, 20 Apr 2020


1. How would you like someone who has read your book to sum it up in one sentence?

B. Original, inspiring, and illuminating collection on human nature and its relation to animality, wildness, and wolfishness.

S. Ground breaking – a book that investigates the wolf behind the werewolf and ultimately redeems the big bad wolf.

2. What book in your field has inspired you the most?

S. For ideas about Wolf Children or children raised by wolves, the novels by Marcus Sedgwick and Jane Yolen.

B. Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature.

3. Did your research take you to any unexpected places?

S. Yes, to the Grave of Peter the Wild Boy in Northchurch. He was supposedly raised by wolves or bears.

B. We visited a wolf sanctuary.

4. Which writing process do you use (computer, longhand, dictate, other)?

S. Hand written notes in journals eventually transcribed to Word on laptop.

B. Longhand, then computer.

5. Why did you choose to publish with MUP?

S. I’m a displaced Mancunian and I worked with Matthew Frost in my early days as a bookseller. MUP published my first ever monograph in 2007.

B. They published our previous book and we know them to be in sympathy with our research, and both meticulous and efficient at preparing publications.

6. What are you working on now?

S. I am currently working on a book on folklore and the cultural history of the shadow provisionally entitled ‘In the Kingdom of Shadows: Optics and dark Folklore in literature of the Long Nineteenth century’. I will be pitching this to MUP.

B. A monograph on the rise of the paranormal romance genre, hopefully for MUP!

7. If you could go back and give yourself once piece of advice when starting out on this project, what would it be?

S. Think about time frames and be mindful of taking on too many.

B. Don’t procrastinate!

8. If you could have been the author of any book, what would it be and why?

S. Hans Andersen’s, The Snow Queen, or Dorian Gray, because I love the demonic theme of mirroring and reflection.

B. Middlemarch, for its intelligence and compassionate humanism.

9. What other genres do you enjoy reading?

S. Fairy tales, Animal fables, botanical literature.

B. Philosophy, poetry, classic novels, YA fantasy, paranormal romance, Gothic romance

10. Which authors (academic and not) would you invite to a dinner party?

S. Sir Chris Frayling – the first person to invite vampires into the academy and in spectral form I’d love to converse with Hans Andersen, Emily Bronte and W.B Yeats – my guilty pleasure

B. Jürgen Habermas, Holly Black, Siri Hustvedt, Sam George. If resurrected, Angela Carter, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Lady Caroline Lamb, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir



In the company of wolves

Werewolves, wolves and wild children

Edited by Sam George and Bill Hughes

Now available

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