Melmoth the Wanderer

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Penguin Books Limited, 2000 - 659 páginas
The 19th-century horror novel that inspired Sarah Perry's Melmoth

A Penguin Classic

Created by an Irish clergyman, Melmoth is one of the most fiendish characters in literature. In a satanic bargain, Melmoth exchanges his soul for immortality. The story of his tortured wanderings through the centuries is pieced together through those who have been implored by Melmoth to take over his pact with the devil. Influenced by the Gothic romances of the late 18th century, Maturin's diabolic tale raised the genre to a new and macabre pitch. Its many admirers include Poe, Balzac, Oscar Wilde and Baudelaire.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - GracefulPhoton - LibraryThing

A confusing book. At times incredibly tedious, and generally bewildering in its structure (I summarized a point in the book to a friend as: a character is telling a story about reading a story in ... Leer comentario completo

LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - booklove2 - LibraryThing

Melmoth had been on my radar as a book I might get around to on that ever-lengthening list of books I might get around to. Sarah Perry's book just happened to be called 'Melmoth' so I figured I should ... Leer comentario completo

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Acerca del autor (2000)

Charles Robert Maturin was born in Dublin in 1782, and educated at Trinity College. He took orders and was a curate in Loughrea and Dublin, and also, for a time, worked as a teacher until literary success enabled him to give this up. His first novel, The Fatal Revenge (1807), was published under a pseudonym to protect his reputation as a clergyman. A series of other novels followed, and his tragedy Bertram (1816) met with great success when it was produced by Edmund Kean at Drury Lane, after recommendation by Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron. His next plays, Manuel (1817) and Fredolfo (1819) were failures, and Maturin returned to writing novels. Melmoth the Wanderer appeared in 1820, but in the last years of his life his works were neglected, and he died in poverty in 1824. In the 1890s his literary reputation in England was revived, and his works were reprinted in various editions.

Maturin's Calvinist upbringing lent to his work a strong sense of the soul's relationship with God, which can also be seen in the work of James Hogg, William Godwin and Godwin's daughter, Mary Shelley. He was also influenced by comic writers of epics and romances, such as Cervantes, Swift, Sterne and Diderot. His strongest influences were the authors of Gothic romances of the late eighteenth century, in particular, Matthew Lewis and Ann Radcliffe. Maturin's tales were, however, always more extravagant and macabre, and led to his reputation as one of the foremost writers of the Gothic school.

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