This inconspicuous looking text was the impetus behind a rash of suicides in the late 18th century. Written by Goethe, this epistolary novel followed the sorrows of a young man whose true love is betrothed to another. The book accounts the man’s decent into depression and ultimately suicide.
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“I am as you see by this note amongst the slogging town of Brum and mean to play my part well & vigorously amongst its inhabitants. I have already spotted from its number 3 girls and before one week is passed after receiving this 3 Families will be thrown into a state of delightful mourning. Ha. Ha. My bloody whim must have its way do not be surprised. 15 murders must be completed then I kill myself to cheat the scaffold. For I know you cannot catch me & may l be ever present in your dreams.”
~Jack the Ripper, 1888~