I have been a horror fan since before the publishing boom in the 70s, and I have a fondness for the classics that started the ball rolling. Since I find most of the lists of horror classics to be sadly lacking, and believe that today's horror fans are shortchanging themselves by not being aware of the rich history horror has, and missing out on what I consider to be "lost gems" of the genre, I've decided to start a regular feature here called "Forgotten Friday", where I will share some of my favorite obscure works, in the hopes of getting more readers exploring the dusty shelves of the "lost library", to discover some classics they can call their own.
Today's offering is Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin
Originally published in 1820, this novel relates the story of John Melmoth, a man who sold his soul to the Devil for immortality in the 16th century, a pact that can only be broken if he can find someone willing to sell him their soul.
Hailed as a milestone of literature in any genre by such luminaries as Sir Walter Scott, Thackeray, Baudelaire and Balzac, as a competitor to Frankenstein, and acknowledged by H.P. Lovecraft as a masterpiece that made "the Gothic tale climb to altitudes of sheer spiritual fright which it had never known before".
A creepy novel that is pure undistilled Gothic, that sent chills down my spine and had me jumping at shadows.