Collection: Eliza Parsons and Lawrence Flammenberg

Eliza Parsons was an English author best known for having penned two of the seven Northanger Horrid Novels. Parsons is presumed, based on a baptismal certificate, to have been born in 1739. Her father, John Phelp, was a successful wine merchant and used his wealth to provide his only daughter with a better education than many of her contemporaries. She married James Parsons at age 21 and had eight children. The decline in James Parsons’s health and subsequent death, as well as the death of all three of her sons, led Eliza Parsons to seek means to support her remaining children and herself. She began writing, and over the course of the next seventeen years wrote nineteen novels and one play. Though prodigious, Parsons often struggled with money until her death in 1811. The Castle of Wolfenbach is her most famous work.

Lawrence Flammenberg was born Karl Friedrich Kahlert in 1765 and died in 1813. He also wrote under the pseudonym Ludwig Flammenberg. His work, Das Geisterbanner was translated into English by Peter Will (writing as Peter Tuethold) under a new title: The Necromancer; or, The Tale of the Black Forest. Kahlert is credited as a major influence for Matthew Lewis’s The Monk.

Peter Teuthold was the pseudonym for Peter Will. Teuthold is best known for his translation of Lawrence Flammenberg’s Der Geisterbanner: Eine Wundergeschichte aus mündlichen und schriftlichen Traditionen into The Necromancer; or, The Tale of the Black Forest and Carl Grosse’s Der Genius, Horrid Mysteries, which is also included in the Northanger Horrid Novels list. Little is known beyond his work on these projects.

Eliza Parsons and Lawrence Flammenberg