The Devil's Elixirs

E.T.A. Hoffmann

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The Devil's Elixirs by E.T.A. Hoffmann, translated by Ronald Taylor / ISBN 9781847496737 / 276-page paperback from Alma Classics

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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.

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 Hoffmann (1776 - 1822) was born in Konigsberg and became one of the best known and influential authors of his time. He exploited the grotesque and the bizarre in a manner unmatched by any other Romantic writer. Anthea Bell has received many awards for her translations including the Mildred L. Batchelder Award in 1979, 1990 and 1995.

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