The Book of Were-Wolves: Being an Account of a Terrible Superstition - Sabine Baring-Gould 1865 - Smith, London - First Edition Nearly as rare as it’s subjects, a first edition of the foundation work on shape-shifting, were-wolves, and the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s descriptions of Count Dracula’s wolfish appearance. In original bright pictorial gilt cloth, were-wolf to the front and the dark frontispiece of The Were-Wolves and their prey. Suitably housed in a blood red morocco leather clamshell case, lined with felt, and lettered in gilt.

‘The Book of Were-Wolves takes a rationalistic approach to the subject, the first ten chapters of this book constitute an essential work on the subject; however, starting with Chapter XI, the narrative takes a strange turn into sensationalistic 'true crime' case-studies of cannibals, grave desecrators, and blood fetishists, which have a tenuous connection with lycanthropy. This includes an extended treatment of the case of Giles de Rais, the notorious associate of Joan of Arc, who was convicted and executed for necrosadistic crimes.’

The author, eclectic British scholar, vicar, archaeologist, historian, Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) inspired
My Fair Lady, and wrote the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers.
  The Book of Were-Wolves was so visionary that it foresaw that future discussions within werewolf studies would necessarily travel down many side paths. Indeed, midway through, Baring-Gould treks into the shadowy world of crimes vaguely connected to werewolves, including serial murders, grave desecration, and cannibalism.’ - Lorence Coleman (Cosimo)

Provenance: Small contemporary booksellers plate of B Westermann Co., 524 Broadway, New York.

References: sacredtexts.com. Guiley,
Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters.

Octavo (book size 19.8x13.7cm), pp. xii 266 [2 (publisher’s advertisements)]. In publisher's red cloth, spine intricately decorated in gilt, gilt vignette of Were-Wolf surrounded by ornate decoration and lettering, twin borders in blind to boards, light brown coated end-papers. Re-cased, with light repair to corners of boards and spine ends.
  Condition: Near fine, gilt pictorial boards clean and bright, spine slightly darker, re-cased, with light repair to corners of boards and spine ends, frontispiece tissue guard with faint foxing.   Ref: 106173   Price: HK$ 46,000