Public Domain Super Heroes

Real Name


First Appearance

"Trilby" in Harper's Monthly (1894)

Original Publisher

Harper & Brothers

Created by

George du Maurier


Svengali was a master musician living in Paris around the mid 19th Century, who had developed powerful hypnotic abilities. He seemed to be capable of entrancing people simply by playing piano, but to acquire full control, a person had to look deep into his gazing eyes.

After meeting a beautiful, but tone deaf, 17 year old model named Trilby O'Ferrall, he decided that he would become her master and teach her how to sing. As his protege, Trilby became a renowned singer, but being under Svengali's power caused her mind and soul to wither until she no longer knew who she was. Svengali also controlled a talented young violinist named Gecko.

Svengali eventually died of a heart attack, but Trilby died soon after, longing for her cruel master.

Golden Age Comic Appearances

  • Famous Authors Illustrated #12
  • Kid Eternity #13


  • A villain in issue four of the IDW series FX is inspired by Svengali.

See Also