Gaston Louis Alfred LerouxFrench journalist and fiction writer Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux (1868 -1927) is best known for writing the novel ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra), first published in 1909.

As a journalist, he was involved in an investigation into the Paris Opera House, whose basement contained a prison cell.

Another of his articles described the 1896 events surrounding the death of a visitor to the Opera House when one of the chandeliers fell.

All this provided material for the great novel to come, which did not in fact become popular until the early twenties when it was made into a silent film version with Lon Chaney in the lead.

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