In the Latin Quarter of Paris, Trilby O'Ferrall - graceful, charming and innocent - is working as an artist's model. Her ingenuous nature makes her the perfect prey for the cruel magnetism of the demonic musician Svengali, under whose spell she falls. Using hypnotic powers Svengali shapes her into a virtuoso singer and soon she becomes Europe's most captivating soprano. But her golden voice, and even her life, will become fatally tied to him. With its thrilling plot and legendary villain, Trilby caused a sensation when it appeared in 1894, spawning songs, shoes and, most famously, the Trilby hat. Yet it is also a fascinating portrayal of its times, holding up a mirror to fin de siecle obsessions with sexuality, mesmerism and the occult.