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For Valentine’s Day, we have a tale not so much of love, but of supernatural seduction. This is the story of a chaste young woman of the town of Dunwich stalked by a devil, as reported in The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich by Thomas of Monmouth. We also take a look at real and fictional Dunwich (a town of the Lovecraft mythos featured in “The Dunwich Horror”), and examine what exactly (or inexactly) an incubus was thought to be.
- The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich, written by Thomas of Monmouth and translated by Augustus Jessopp and M.R. James. Cambridge UP, 1896. [Available on Google Books.]
- Bryant B.L. “H. P. Lovecraft’s ‘Unnamable’ Middle Ages.” Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture, edited by Gail Ashton and Dan Kline, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 113-128.
- Isidore of Seville. The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville. Translated by Stephen A. Barney, W.J. Lewis, J.A. Beach, and Oliver Berghof with Muriel Hall, Cambridge UP, 2006.
- van der Lugt, Maaike. “The Incubus in Scholastic Debate: Medicine, Theology, and Popular Belief.” Religion and Medicine in the Middle Ages, edited by Peter Biller and Joseph Ziegler, Boydell & Brewer, 2001, pp. 175-200.
Image: Poster for The Dunwich Horror (1970)