This early work by E. T. A. Hoffmann was originally published in 1885 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. This selection of Hoffmann's finest short stories vividly demonstrates his intense imagination and preoccupation with the supernatural, placing him at the forefront of both surrealism and the modern horror genre. Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann was born in Königsberg, East Prussia in 1776. His family were all jurists, and during his youth he was initially encouraged to pursue a career in law. However, in his late teens Hoffman became increasingly interested in literature and philosophy, and spent much of his time reading German classicists and attending lectures by, amongst others, Immanuel Kant.