Edited and annotated by Brett Rutherford. Never reprinted in its original form since its 1805 second edition, and never before presented in full in an annotated, scholarly edition, Tales of Wonder is a landmark in Gothic literature and Romantic poetry. Here we are treated to a ghost/vampire tale first penned around 300 BCE; a Runic funeral song from the tenth century CE; a meeting between the Saxon invader of England and a Roman ghost; a Nordic warrior woman’s incantation to raise her father from the dead; Goethe’s blood-curdling multi-voiced “Erl-King” and fatal water nymphs; the monk and nun who try (unsuccessfully) to save their witch mother from the Devil; a proud painter's encounters with Satan; a doomed romance set in the horrific landscape of the War of the Spanish Succession; and the cursed forest ride of “The Wild Huntsmen.”
This edition, annotated by Brett Rutherford, traces the literary origins of the poems and the stories behind them, connecting them to the long line of eccentric antiquarian scholars who collected classical, Runic, English and Scottish manuscripts or folk material. The poems here also reveal the late-18th century British project of constructing a pagan pre-history for England, building a poetic connection to Nordic legends and bringing Wotan/Odin and the gods, monsters and fairies of the forest into competition with Biblical and Greco-Roman lore. This volume includes early poems by Sir Walter Scott and Robert Southey, as well as poems by M.G. Lewis, Goethe, Herder, Bürger, Mickle, Bunbury, and Leyden. The originals of these poems and ballads are from Greek, Latin, Icelandic, Danish and German, as well as English and Scottish supernatural ballads.
For the poetry lover, and the fan of supernatural literature, this collection offers a year-round Halloween treat of entertaining and alarming poems to read aloud ... bedtime stories for very bad children. A Yogh & Thorn Book.