The Lost Stradivarius by John Meade Falkner Page 1 of 151

Letter from MISS SOPHIA MALTRAVERS to her Nephew, SIR EDWARD MALTRAVERS, then a Student at Christ Church, Oxford.

13 Pauncefort Buildings, Bath, Oct. 21, 1867.

MY DEAR EDWARD,

It was your late father's dying request that certain events which occurred in his last years should be communicated to you on your coming of age. I have reduced them to writing, partly from my own recollection, which is, alas! still too vivid, and partly with the aid of notes taken at the time of my brother's death.

As you are now of full age, I submit the narrative to you. Much of it has necessarily been exceedingly painful to me to write, but at the same time I feel it is better that you should hear the truth from me than garbled stories from others who did not love your father as I did.

Your loving Aunt,
SOPHIA MALTRAVERS


To Sir Edward Maltravers, Bart.

"A tale out of season is as music in mourning."

- ECCLESIASTICUS xxii. 6.

MISS SOPHIA MALTRAVERS' STORY


CHAPTER I

Your father, John Maltravers, was born in 1820 at Worth, and succeeded his father and mine, who died when we were still young children. John was sent to Eton in due course, and in 1839, when he was nineteen years of age, it was determined that he should go to Oxford.



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