On Ireland’s bookshelves was Karel Čapek’s novel The Cheat, lent to him by his friend George Dannatt. It’s an interesting book for several reasons. Left unfinished at the Czech author’s death in 1938, it was then completed by his wife Olga Scheinpflugova. It tells of a man who wishes to be a musician and composer of an opera, but who ends up as a musical plagiarist. It was translated into English in 1941, also published under the title The Life and Times of Compose Foltýn. Čapek (shown below) is better known as an important contributor to the development of the genre of science fiction. It was a perceptive choice on the part of Dannatt, as Ireland was drawn both to fictionalised musical worlds and to evocations of the uncanny.