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The Werewolf in Lore and Legend (Dover Occult) Paperback – December 19, 2003

3.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Occult
  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (December 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486430901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486430904
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm honestly surprised that the only other reviews for this book are as unfavorable as they are. Sure, Montague Summers was a religious zealot and his contempt for the "devilish" practice of werewolfry (not to mention witchcraft, black magic and any similar occult activities) shines through bright and clear in his writing. It is also unfortunate that, as has been noted, he very often quotes from Greek, Latin, French, German and other languages while providing no English translation of those quotations. This practice is a bit irksome for a layperson not versed in these languages, and I for one would appreciate an annotated version in which the quotations have been translated.

However, Summers often gives enough of a review (or at least a critique) of the non-English quote to alert the uncultured reader (i.e. probably most of us nowadays) to what he has missed. I would also argue that a literal understanding of his albeit many and varied quotes does not largely detract from the work as a whole. There's still a great plenty of valuable information to be found in this early 20th century work, even if, like me, English is your first--and only--language.

Regarding Summer's staunch Christian standpoint--yes, it's very much there--I can only argue that such a standpoint, fanatical and dogmatic though it may be, hardly impacts the veracity (inasmuch as this word can be applied to tales of werewolves) of the multitude of cases of werewolfry that he relates. He may (and very often does) pass judgment on the person on whom a certain story centers, but the point, for me, is that he relates each case more or less as he finds it in the literature (and of course the original case was, very often, first recorded by another religious fanatic...).
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100 years ago, Montague Summers, a Catholic priest in England, penned a five-volume history on the occult that covered vampires, witches, and, here, werewolves. Summers takes both his theology and his historical accounts very seriously. Make no mistake; he absolutely believes that black magic is real, and he is out to convince you. What makes his work so refreshing today is that it is unabashedly erudite and boldly, almost defiantly, orthodox. You don't have to agree with him to learn deeply from his research. People love him or hate him; personally, I can't get enough of the man. Get all five volumes!
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I have been looking for this book for YEARS! I was so excited to find it! I love all the lore and true stories used. The only reason I gave it four stars was because it gets a bit slow going at times. The words just keep piling and piling... Leading to heights unknown!
But still if you are willing to put in the time one of the best sources around. Love it!
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Format: Paperback
A detailed and seemingly well-researched book that is very hard to read and understand because most quotations from non-English sources were left in their original language.
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Origins of Werewolfism from a religious point of view. A few interesting stories. Author includes too much original language quotes. The middle English I could get through. The Latin was a whole different story. It was like a badly dubbed Godzilla movie. A paragraph of original text condensed to a line of modern English. Read it before going to bed. It will not keep you awake.
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