E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776 – 1822), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror as well as a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist.
His stories were highly influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement."The Mines of Falun" tells the story of Elis Fröbom, a sailor, who returns from the East Indies to Gotherburg in Sweden, only to discover that his mother has died and he is alone in the world. He tells his story to an old miner who befriends him on the quay, and the miner tells him about the magical mines of Falun and urges him to become a miner. Soon after this, he sets out on a journey, and constantly sees the mysterious old miner ahead of him, showing him the way, and he realises that he is on the way to Falun.Once there he is taken into the house of the mine owner, Pehrson Dahlsjö, and falls in love with his lovely daughter, Ulla Dahlsjö. But the ghostly old miner will not permit Elis to be distracted from mining by his love for an earthly woman, and Elis is torn between his love for Ulla and his obsession with the underground world of fires and minerals. It is this obsession, and the pull of the ghost of the miner, which leads to his destruction.