Wild Hunt and Furious Host : a literary prowl
Usingen, 2012. 257 p. ISBN 978-3-7322-4838-4
Another book by the author of books on Goddess Holle, The Nerthus Claim and The Mercury-Woden Complex. As well-researched as ever, with facts and some fiction to make the story come alive, and with a clear distinction between facts and speculation and fiction. Not just the theories are offered, but also the original sources of the testimonies and many retold folk tales. In this book the prowl is a walk through a historical-literary landscape of folk belief, more specifically the areas where the Wild Hunt, the Wild Hunter and the Furious Host occur.
There’s a multitude of sources and texts from the classical antiquity, through the Middle Ages to the age of enlightenment and romantism and our time. There are stories from diverse socio-cultural environments and from all over Europe. Not all those stories have reached us in their original form. The stories are presented in chronological order quoted and discussed. GardenStone analyzes whether the popular assumption of an ancient connection between Woden and the Wild Hunter or the Furious Host was indeed passed down from the ages of the pagan Vikings, or even from much earlier pre-Christian times of the Germanic tribes.
Almost at the end of the book GardenStone reflects on the subject and examines which questions remain open and gives some explanatory comments. After that he shows us some work by artists (from the Romantic era and contemporary) and there are a lot of appendices and references to books and websites.
A well illustrated book on a very interesting subject and again highly recommended!