Peter Schlemihl

Peter Schlemihl is the title character of an 1814 novella, Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte (Peter Schlemihl’s Miraculous Story),written in German by exiled French aristocrat Adelbert von Chamisso. In the story, Schlemihl sells his shadow to the Devil for a bottomless wallet (the gold sack of Fortunatus), only to find that a man without a shadow is shunned by human societies.

Adelbert von Chamisso (30 January 1781 – 21 August 1838) was a German poet and botanist, author of Peter Schlemihl, a famous story about a man who sold his shadow. He was commonly known in French as Adelbert de Chamisso (or Chamissot) de Boncourt, a name referring to the family estate at Boncourt.

Translated BY SIR JOHN BOWRING

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