"Born in Vienna in 1868, Meyrink spent 20 years as a bank director in Prague. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1891, attempting suicide, and became obsessed by occultism, alchemy, Kabbalah and eastern mysticism. Following rumours that he was running the bank's affairs "according to spirit guidance", Meyrink was accused of fraud and imprisoned for two-and-a-half months. He also fought, at this time, a series of duels with officers from a Prague army regiment. Moving to Vienna and then to Bavaria, Meyrink began his writing career with a book of short stories, The Cabinet of Wax Figures, before beginning work on The Golem."