London. John Lane. 1896. The First Edition. Ads dated 1895. Illustrated with 6 full page mounted engravings on laid paper by Laurence Housman. Square 8vo. 5.75" x 7.75". Bound in First Issue gilt decorated and titled brown cloth.
Covers sunned and lightly soiled. with front cover gilt leave decorations faded. A Very Good, crisp bright copy with stunning engravings.
The female werewolf, White Fell, was created by Clemence Housman to amuse her
fellow students at an art school in London (first published in Atalanta magazine in 1890 and
as a book in 1896). White Fell is an exquisite femme fatale cast as a beautiful woman who
awakens erotic desire in a vulnerable young man.
Housman's story, rooted in Norse mythology, channels the reader's imagination into the
realm of the numinous. Set in the northern lands of ice and snow, the farmhouse and its inhabi-
tants create a warm environment. The shadow of something sinister, however, gives a chill to the
air inside the farmhouse and creates the feeling that horror lurks just
outside the door.
Christian allegory frames the story. There are two opposing forces.- the Good represented
by the hero, Christian, and the Evil represented by the white female werewolf. The beautiful
young woman dressed in white furs is the temptress-werewolf who has supernatural strength to
destroy those she can get in her clutches, including a child, an old woman, and the young man
who loves her.
Housman's story is often referred to as "the greatest story of
lycanthropy ever written". - Charlotte Otten.