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George du Maurier (1834-1896) was a French-born British cartoonist and most notably, an author. The caricaturist abandoned painting for drawing when he was blinded in one eye. His skilled draftsmanship and engaging personality quickly established his success. Maurier's drawings for English illustrated periodicals such as "Punch", "Once a Week", and "The Leisure Hour" were acute commentaries on the Victorian scene. His highly successful novel, "Trilby" (1894), is perhaps the second best selling novel of it's time after Bram Stoker's "Dracula". The novel is set in the 1850s in an idyllic bohemian Paris. Trilby O'Ferrall, the novel's heroine, is a half-Irish girl working in Paris as an artists' model and laundress. One of the most memorable characters is Svengali, a Jewish rogue, masterful musician, and hypnotist who, by hypnotization, transforms Trilby into a great diva. Under his spell, Trilby becomes a talented singer, performing always in an amnesiac trance. At one performance, she is unable to sing in tune due to Svengali having a heart attack, and ends up the laughing stock of the show.

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