Melmoth, one of the most fiendish characters in literature, was created by an Irish clergyman determined, as he put it, to 'display all my diabolical resources'. In a satanic bargain, Melmoth has sold his soul in exchange for immortality. As his story is pieced together through those who have glimpsed his eerie existence over the centuries, we witness Melmoth's desperate quest to find someone who will take his place and release him from his tortured wanderings. Comic, violent, allusive and profound, Melmoth the Wanderer casts a plumb line into the depths of human perversity. Ever since it appeared in 1820 it has been hugely influential, numbering Balzac, Poe, Andri Breton and Oscar Wilde among its many admirers. It is, according to Victor Sage, 'a labyrinthine form without a centre...the Gothic romance to end all Gothic romances.' This edition includes a critical introduction, explanatory notes, and further reading.