New Novel Explores Violinmaker’s Life

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Robert W. Soule’s new book draws from his own instruction in violin repair and maintenance

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The new historical novel Gaspard and Cecile (published by Trafford Publishing) is a fictionalized account of the life and times of Gaspard Duiffoprugcar, whom some still credit as the creator of the modern violin.

Soule’s account of Gaspard’s life proves it was not an easy one, full of aristocratic intrigue, wars and personal suffering.

“We were very lucky to have a fine musician in Astfeld who not only played the viol, but also was skilled at making them. Many of his sons are now working in northern Italy as luthiers.

He owned a large bass viol which he built himself. One night when he was playing the bass viol at the inn, he let me pluck a string. Then he let me rest my fingers lightly on the belly of the viol while he plucked the string. The belly trembled under my fingers as if alive. It was alive! From that moment, my future was planned.”

The story of this novel isn’t just about violin creation; rather, it’s a complete examination of Gaspard’s life. The story opens with his birth and ends many years later with his death, and in between the pages are filled with anecdotes and vignettes of his interaction with the villagers and friends who informed his life.

About the Author
Robert W. Soule was born in Randoph, Vermont in 1925. A decorated veteran of World War II, he attended Goddard College one year before graduating from the Faust School of Piano Tuning and the Allied Arts. Soule worked in various capacities with the local post office for many years. Together with his wife Roberta he adopted two children before becoming a licensed foster home. They later adopted one of their foster children. Soule attended classes at the University of New Hampshire for violin repairs and bow making, and collected violins and bows. One of those violins inspired this story.

Trafford Publishing, an Author Solutions, Inc. author services imprint, was the first publisher in the world to offer an “on-demand publishing service,” and has led the independent publishing revolution since its establishment in 1995. Trafford was also one of the earliest publishers to utilize the Internet for selling books. More than 10,000 authors from over 120 countries have utilized Trafford’s experience for self publishing their books. For more information about Trafford Publishing, or to publish your book today, call 1-888-232-4444 or visit

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