Gaston Leroux (1868-1927) was a French playboy, globe-trotter and tireless writer in a number of fields. He wrote about contemporary trials (and was also for a time a lawyer), he was a theatre critic (and also for a time a playwright), a journalist and a novelist. As a traveller, he loved to explore remote parts of Scandinavia, for instance, or North Africa, where on several occasions he had to disguise himself as an Arab in order to escape danger. He went to Russia to cover the early stages of the Revolution for French newspapers. His daring spirit, was always getting him into – and out of – difficult situations.