The Lost Stradivarius by John Meade Falkner
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“The Lost Stradivarius” is a novel by British author John Meade Falkner, first published in 1895. It is a haunting and atmospheric tale of supernatural horror that tells the story of a young man named John Maltravers, who inherits a priceless Stradivarius violin from his deceased father. As he becomes increasingly obsessed with the instrument, Maltravers begins to uncover a dark and terrifying secret hidden within its strings.
The novel is set in the late nineteenth century and draws heavily on the Gothic tradition of supernatural fiction. It is steeped in atmosphere, with vivid descriptions of the English countryside and the eerie old mansion where Maltravers spends much of his time.
As Maltravers delves deeper into the history of the Stradivarius, he discovers that it has a dark and troubled past. The violin had belonged to a notorious eighteenth-century musician named Martini, who had been rumored to be involved in the occult. As Maltravers learns more about Martini’s life and the strange powers that he had possessed, he becomes increasingly obsessed with the violin and the mysteries that it holds.
One of the key themes of “The Lost Stradivarius” is the danger of obsession and the ways in which our desires can lead us down dark and dangerous paths. Maltravers’ obsession with the Stradivarius leads him to neglect his studies and his relationships, and he becomes increasingly isolated and detached from the world around him.
Another notable aspect of the novel is its exploration of the supernatural and the occult. Falkner draws on a rich tradition of Gothic literature to create a world in which the supernatural is always lurking just beneath the surface of everyday life.
Overall, “The Lost Stradivarius” is a masterpiece of Gothic horror that has earned a place as a classic of supernatural fiction. Its atmospheric setting, complex characters, and haunting portrayal of the supernatural make it a must-read for fans of horror and Gothic literature. It is a testament to John Meade Falkner’s skill as a writer, and a chilling reminder of the dangers that can arise when we become too consumed by our own desires.