The Devil’s Elixirs

By E.T.A. Hoffmann

Translated by Ronald Taylor

ISBN: 9781847496737

276 pages

RRP: £7.99

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

E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776–1822) was a composer, caricaturist, critic and author. His works, often bizarre and grotesque, were hugely influential on writers such as Dostoevsky, Kafka and Poe.