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Wild Hunt and Furious Host

A Literary Prowl

Gunivortus Goos  (GardenStone)

260 Pages, ISBN 978 3 7322 4838 4     
www.HG-shop.eu, 2012     

... Nevertheless, she must have dozed off, because as the small window suddenly slammed open inward with a very loud bang, she roused up with a cry of fear and could only close the rickety window again with much effort. Her parents obviously had also heard the noise, for they both came rushing into her bedroom. Marije immediatly started complaining loudly and thoroughly. After a while, as she was running out of words, her father sat down on the edge of her bed and said: "This certainly must have been a big shock for you. But if something like this happened several hundred years ago, it scared people out of their wits. In those times they believed that at this time of the year evil ghosts haunted around the houses, looking for an opening. When a window or a door was blown open by the wind, people thought they were caught by those spirits and had to hunt forever with them up in the stormy sky."
"They called it the Wild Hunt," her mother added."

Following this introductory story the Wild Hunt and the Furious Host are tracked through the centuries, in which eyewitness reports are presented, many myths are retold and backgrounds are discussed. All of the pieces brought together may lift the veil on the possible origins of these phenomena - and may also vield surprising new insights.

(Bovenstaande tekst komt van de achterkant van het boek)     

Processions of the dead, ghost armies, supernatural hunters, armies from the underworld who pursue or hunt through the sky or on the earth, appear all over the world in very different forms in mythology and folk belief. This book takes you on a walk through a historical-literary landscape of that popular belief, more specifically the areas where the Wild Hunt, the Wild Hunter and the Furious Host occur. What makes this book perhaps different from many others, is that there lies a strong emphasis on the multitude of included original sources and texts from the Middle Ages. It will also examined and analyzed whether the popular assumption of an ancient connection between Woden and the Wild Hunter or the Furious Host was indeed passed down from pagan times.
However, not just the possible underlying ´theories´ are offered; the original sources of the testimonies and many retold folk tales are also important parts too. The opulence of illustrations - including the cover picture - have their important functions too, as they underpin and enrich the text itself as well as visually evoking sentiments.

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