The Kungliga Operan did not acquire a ghost. Christine Daae (who kept her maiden name for the stage) brought her new husband, the composer Erik Renouille, home to Stockholm in the winter of 1872, and they began their long artistic partnership. Her Susanna that spring was a great success, and people are still talking about her performance of Twenty-Six Love Songs at the Midsummer gala. She had a long and celebrated career at the Operan, with only two short breaks.

M. Renouille was never one for society, owing to his disfigurement in a childhood accident, but he was well loved by those whom they admitted into their family circle. Besides this, he carried on a wide and faithful correspondence with a great number of people; his collected correspondence shows him to have been a man of great intelligence and wide-ranging interest. Indeed, after he designed the house that he and his wife lived in for most of their lives, he was almost as sought after as an architect as he was a composer. His Mass for the Sea, written for the cathedral at Boulogne-sur-Mer, is thought by many to be among his masterpieces. Those who heard Mlle. Daae sing it in the cathedral at its premiere said that they were forever changed.

Family stories say (and her own, smaller, collected papers verify) that Mlle. Daae complained cheerfully over Thirty Lullabies for Gustave and even more over Forty-Two Lullabies for Anika. But anyone who cares to examine the vast collection of M. Renouille's papers in the Kungliga Biblioteket will see that each of his works—musical, architectural, and literary—bears the same dedication: "To Christine, with love."

I know, I know: you're thinking, "where's the hot action?" I too was surprised that it didn't turn up. I hope you're not disappointed. Thanks for coming along on the ride and for the support. It has meant the world to me.