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She-wolfA cultural history of female werewolves$
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Hannah Priest

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089343

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089343.001.0001

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‘She transformed into a werewolf, devouring and killing two children’

‘She transformed into a werewolf, devouring and killing two children’

trials of she-werewolves in early modern French Burgundy

Chapter:
(p.41) 3 ‘She transformed into a werewolf, devouring and killing two children’
Source:
She-wolf
Author(s):

Rolf Schulte

, Linda Froome-Döring
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719089343.003.0003

In parts of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), a special imaginary emerges in the witch-hunts of early modern Europe: a remarkably large number of people were accused of transforming themselves into werewolves. The French werewolf panics represent an almost unique phenomenon in Europe (with the exceptions of Latvia and Estonia). More than elsewhere, wolves here symbolised sinister threats and represented dark, life-devouring powers. This chapter explores several cases of accused she-wolves in France-Comté and compares the patterns of denouncement, trial evidence and sentence by using original archival sources. The chapter also examines factors such as the specific ecological and economic structure of the region and the political and religious contexts of the trials, in order to suggest explanations for the comparatively high number of female werewolf trials in early modern Franche-Comté.

Keywords:   Witch-hunts, Franche-Comté, Burgundy, Werewolf panic, France, Werewolves

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