St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian: A Romance (1811) is a novel by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Although he is commonly regarded as a leading Romantic poet, Shelley published this Gothic horror tale at the beginning of his career while an undergraduate at the University of Oxford. Controversial for its violent themes and exploration of the darker side of human consciousness, St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian: A Romance remains an important early work of Shelley’s and continues to inform scholars of the Romantic style to this day.
Left with nowhere to go, Wolfstein turns to the treacherous slopes of the Swiss Alps, where he contemplates suicide and rages against the ills of society. During a thunderstorm, he takes shelter and encounters a band of monks. As they prepare to take him in, a group of bandits attacks, seizing what they can and forcing Wolfstein to follow them to their underground lair.
There, he meets Megalena, a beautiful captive. Soon, he overhears a guard sing a chilling song about a woman named Rosa, Wolfstein fears that their lives are in grave danger. He manages to poison Cavigni, their leader, and escapes with Megalena through the mountains. They settle in Genoa, where they attempt to return to a sense of normalcy. When another woman comes between the two lovers, Wolfstein is forced to make a fateful decision.
St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian: A Romance is a novel of romance, terror, and the supernatural by a leading writer of English Romanticism. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian: A Romance is a classic of English literature reimagined for modern readers.