First published in 1877, The First Violin is told in first person from two points of view. It begins with May Wedderburn living a quiet existence in a small town in England. Her quiet is disrupted when she attracts the attentions of the local wealthy landowner, Sir Peter. May has no interest in Sir Peter's offer of marriage and is even a bit afraid of him. Enter the town recluse Miss Hallam who offers to whisk May away to Germany where music and excitement await her immediately upon arrival.