~ The Phantom of the Opera… behind the iconic Mask is its French author, Gaston Leroux.
~ "The Opera Ghost really existed… " On 23 September 1909 with these words The Phantom of the Opera was introduced to the world. The first section of Gaston Leroux's novel was printed in the Parisian daily newspaper, Le Gaulois. Thus began the world of Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, its unfathomable, mysterious antihero inspiring film and stage interpretations equaled by no other literary work. Beginning with Lon Chaney's classic 1925 silent film to Andrew Lloyd Webber's famous musical, The Phantom of the Opera, which since 1986 has played continuously worldwide making it the most successful piece of entertainment of all time, its timelessness begins with its author.
~ Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux made his debut to the world to Julien and Marie Alphonsine Leroux on 6 May 1868. Beginning his varied professional career – first in law then as a roving investigative journalist for Le Matin – his experiences became preparations for his one passion to become a full-time writer. His first novel was titled The Seeking of Morning Treasurers in 1903, followed by his first triumph The Mystery of the Yellow Room, in 1907, making its detective, Joseph Rouletabille, famous enough to vie even with Sherlock Homes. But his guarantee of immortality came with Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, a mystery of such depth that it has continued to intrigue, inspire and entertain for over 100 years.
~ With much appreciation and gratitude the Gaston Leroux Grove is dedicated. "In Paris," he writes, "our lives are one masked ball." The mask is at long last off. Monsieur Gaston Leroux, bravissimo et merci!
~ Martha Boswell ~