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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

The Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom of the Opera was created by the French author Gaston Leroux (Balaoo, Cheri-Bibi, Eliphas de Saint-Elme de Taillebourg de la Nox, Captain Hyx, Theophraste Longuet, Benedict Masson, Mysterious King, Joseph Rouletabille) and appeared in Le Fantôme de l’Opera (1910).

The Phantom of the Opera is Erik, a man whose face is hideously deformed. Erik lives beneath the Paris opera house and falls in love with the singer Christine Daaé. He kills to gain her love but ultimately fails at that goal.

* I'm including Le Fantôme de l’Opera in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because it is archetypal. The Phantom of the Opera's was famous internationally when the novel was republished in American and English newspapers in the 1920s, leading to the 1925 silent film version starring Lon Chaney Sr. But The Phantom of the Opera only become THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in 1975, with Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 adaptation. During the pulp era it was well-known but not a truly global phenomenon, inspiring a few imitations and being very popular but not a global obsession the way it would later become. 

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