This novel, based on a real but mysterious incident in 1828, describes the dden appearance at the town gates of Nuremberg of Caspar Hauser, who claims to have spent his previous life in ""a dark hole"". Was he a political prisoner? Is he a lost prince? an angel? He is tutored, jailed, wined and dined by the nobility; an attempt made on his life; he is sent away, experiences love, sees birth, and is finally killed- or kills himself. Written in a matter-of-fact first person, this book also takes place in a Kafkaesque world of castles, inns, carriages and strange people; is filled with deliberate Freudian and literary symbols. Caspar, the total innocent, emerges as a symbol of Man, adrift from darkness in an unknown and delusive orld. His simplicity is in contrast to the complexities and dreams which surround im. It is marvellously written on many levels, as an adventure story, as a myth, and none of the symbolism is obtrusive.