This is an adventure book. From biographical notices of Spielhagen in German periodicals, we gather that he was born in Magdeburg, in 1829, and is the son of a Prussian functionary of considerable rank (Regierungsrath). His youth was passed in the romantic old town of Stralsund, to which his father was removed in 1835, and the scenery of that neighborhood, and of the near lying island Rügen, appears to have become so deeply impressed on the opening mind of the boy, that he subsequently painted it with enthusiasm in several of his romances. His course of "gymnasial" education in Stralsund having been completed in 1847, he went in that year to the University of Berlin, intending to study medicine. But his poetical nature soon caused him to give up all thoughts of the medical profession, and the following year he removed to Bonn to study philology. He remained at Bonn till 1850, when he returned to Berlin, continuing his studies partly at that university and partly at that of Greifswald. Whilst at these universities he appears to have studied a variety of subjects, but discursively rather than with reference to any regular profession--for which both his poetical vein and his thirst for observations of actual life seem to have disqualified him. After serving his allotted time in the Prussian army, and occupying the post of tutor in the family of a Pomeranian nobleman, he went to Leipzig, in 1854, to devote himself to general literature, and he afterwards became a teacher (Privat Docent) of modern literature and æsthetics.