Welcome to a new series on Irish writers of the fantastic. Over the next few months Swan River Press will be taking us on a tour through Ireland’s fantasy heritage.
“I have traversed the world in the search, and no one, to gain that world, would lose his own soul!” – Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)
Charles Maturin, novelist and playwright, was born in Fitzwilliam Street on 25 September 1782. In his youth he had a fascination for the gothic novels of Walpole, Radcliffe, and “Monk” Lewis. His early novel, The Milesian Chief (1812), won the praise of Sir Walter Scott; while his play, Bertram (1816), though successful, drew harsh criticism from Coleridge. A lifelong member of the clergy, serving as curate of St. Peter’s Church on Aungier Street, Maturin is now best remembered for his sprawling gothic novel Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). Maturin’s great-nephew, Oscar Wilde, paid tribute to the gothic novelist by adopting the name “Sebastian Melmoth” during his final years of exile in France. Maturin died in his home on York Street on 30 October 1824.
Read Charles Maturin at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/5828