Alphonse, a young Walloon officer, is travelling to join his regiment in Madrid in 1739.
But he soon finds himself mysteriously detained at a highway inn in the strange and varied company of thieves, brigands, cabbalists, noblemen, coquettes and gypsies, whose stories he records over sixty-six days.
The resulting manuscript is discovered some forty years later in a sealed casket, from which tales of characters transformed through disguise, magic and illusion, of honour and cowardice, of hauntings and seductions, leap forth to create a vibrant polyphony of human voices.
Jan Potocki (1761-1812) used a range of literary styles - gothic, picaresque, adventure, pastoral, erotica - in his novel of stories-within-stories, which, like the Decameron and Tales from the Thousand and One Nights, provides entertainment on an epic scale.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 656 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 07/03/1996
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780140445800