Graphic Arts Books
Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux Summary
The Phantom of the Opera (1910) is a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux. Originally serialized in Le Galois, the novel was inspired by legends revolving around the Paris Opera from the early nineteenth century. Originally a journalist, Leroux turned to fiction after reading the works of Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe. Despite its lack of success relative to Leroux’s other novels, The Phantom of the Opera has become legendary through several adaptations for film, theater, and television, including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s celebrated 1886 Broadway musical of the same name. In 1880s Paris, the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House is rumored to be haunted by a malignant entity. Known as the Phantom of the Opera, he has been linked to the hanging death of a stagehand in addition to several strange and mysterious occurrences. Just before a gala performance, a young Swedish soprano named Christine is called on to replace the opera’s lead, who is suffering from a last-minute illness. From the audience, the Vicomte Raoul de Chagny recognizes Christine, his childhood sweetheart, and goes backstage after the opera has ended to reintroduce himself. While waiting by her dressing room, he hears her talking to an unknown man, but upon entering finds himself alone with Christine. Pressing her for information, she reveals that she has been receiving lessons from a figure she calls the Angel of Music, prompting suspicion and terror in Raoul, who is familiar with the legend of the Phantom. As Raoul makes his feelings for Christine known, the Phantom professes his love for his protégé, and a battle for her affection ensues. Caught in this love triangle, threatened on all sides by jealousy and pursuit, Christine struggles to hold on as her star in the Paris Opera rises. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera is a classic of French literature reimagined for modern readers.