The son of a heinous sinner, Medardus is brought up in a monastery to atone for his father’s wicked ways. However, after succumbing to temptation, Medardus himself is lured into a life of sin. A labyrinthine plot sees him embarking on a fantastical journey into the world, meeting his doppelganger, involving himself in a game of double impersonation, and becoming embroiled in murderous intrigues at the Vatican, before the mysterious curse hanging over him and his family is finally explained.
First published in 1815, The Devil’s Elixirs
is a macabre masterpiece of German literature, and is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the Romantic movement, or the genres of fantasy and horror which it spawned.
'E.T.A Hoffman belongs to that eternal guild of poets and visionaries who take revenge on the life that is tormenting them by showing it examples of forms more colourful and diverse than reality can manage to convey.' Stefan Zweig
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