The Phantom of the Opera is perhaps best known for its 20th-century musical adaptation by Andrew Lloyd Webber, but the story about Erik and Christine started as a serialised novel in 1909 Paris and translated into English in 1911.
Written by Gaston Leroux, readers are witness to the events at the Palais Garnier (which really does have a lake beneath it!) during the 1880s where the “Phantom Ghost” of the opera who becomes infatuated with the new soprano, Christine.
Love, intrigue, jealousy, and the odd falling chandelier make the novel one memorable occasion. A heroic rescue from Christine’s love interest Raoul, and the reality of our tragic opera lover revealed, The Phantom of the Opera is a worthwhile read whether in an English translation or the original French.
Its musical adaptation is perhaps one of the most well-known musicals worldwide, the Phantom’s eponymous white half-face mask being instantly recognisable and beloved everywhere. Just know that for us readers, “The Ghost really existed”.