Stories of the Rhine
By: Alexandre Chatrian (1826-1890)
Émile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian, more widely known by their joint nom de plume Erckmann-Chatrian, were in their time more recognized and known locally for their militaristic historical fiction. But of perhaps a more long-lasting influence was their strange and fantastical stories of the macabre where one imagines they were influenced by fellow weird writer E. T. A. Hoffmann of whom many of their stories strikes a similar feel. Noted horror authors such as M. R. James and H. P. Lovecraft have at times professed to have been fans of their work as well.
Stories of the Rhine is one of several translated story collections released in the English-speaking world, collecting primarily tales that take place in the French countryside near the Rhine river close to the border of Germany. These are tales of murder, madness and fantastical occurrences unexplained by traditional science. They are tales of cruel people and those who suffer because of them. Fans of weird fiction will find much to like in this unsettling collection of stories.