The Phantom of the Opera

By Gaston Leroux
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The Phantom of the Opera (original title: Le Fantôme de l'Opéra) is a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux. It was first published as a serialisation in "Le Gaulois" from September 23, 1909 to January 8, 1910. Initially, Gaston Leroux's story The Phantom of the Opera sold very poorly upon publication in book form and was even out of print several times during the twentieth century; The Phantom of the Opera is overshadowed by the success of its various film and stage adaptations.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux: The novel opens with a prologue in which Gaston Leroux claims that Erik, the "Phantom of the Opera", was a real person. We are then introduced to Christine Daaé. She and her father, a famous fiddler, traveled all over Sweden playing folk and religious music. Her father was known to be the best wedding fiddler in the land. When Christine is six, her mother dies and her father is brought to rural France by a patron, Professor Valerius. During Christine's childhood, which is described retrospectively in the early chapters of the book Phantom of the Opera, her father tells her many stories featuring an 'Angel of Music', who, like a muse, is the personification of musical inspiration. Christine meets and befriends the young Raoul, Viscount of Chagny, who also enjoys her father's many stories. One of Christine and Raoul's favorite stories is one of Little Lotte, a girl with golden hair and blue eyes who is visited by the Angel of Music and possesses a heavenly voice.

On his deathbed, Christine's father tells her that from Heaven, he will send the Angel of Music to her. Christine now lives with Mamma Valerius, the elderly widow of her father's benefactor. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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