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The Lost Stradivarius

John Meade Falkner

Book Overview: 

The Lost Stradivarius, by J. Meade Falkner, is a short novel of ghosts and the evil that can be invested in an object, in this case an extremely fine Stradivarius violin. After finding the violin of the title in a hidden compartment in his college rooms, the protagonist, a wealthy young heir, becomes increasingly secretive as well as obsessed by a particular piece of music, which seems to have the power to call up the ghost of its previous owner. Roaming from England to Italy, the story involves family love, lordly depravity, and the tragedy of obsession

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He did not, however, neglect the violin, and during the summer mornings, as I sat reading or working on the terrace, I often heard him playing to himself in the library. Though he had never even given me any description of the melody of the Gagliarda, yet I felt certain that he not infrequently played it. I cannot say how it was; but from the moment that I heard him one morning in the library performing an air set in a curiously low key, it forced itself upon my attention, and I knew, as it were by instinct, that it must be the Gagliarda of the "Areopagita." He was using a sordino and playing it very softly; but I was not mistaken. One wet afternoon in October, only a week before the time of his leaving us to return to Oxford for the autumn term, he walked into the drawing-room where I was sitting, and proposed that we should play some music together. To this I readily agreed. Though but a mediocre performer, I have always taken much pleasure in the use of the pianoforte,. . . Read More