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Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

Carmilla (original 1872; edition 2011)

by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

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957479,064 (3.72)168
Authors:Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), Paperback, 72 pages
Collections:E-books, Favorites

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Carmilla: a Vampyre Tale by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1872)


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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
I love this book!

It's a beautiful, 17th century tale about a lesbian vampire.


No, but seriously, I really enjoyed this book. It's creepy, it's thrilling, it's dark, it's well-written. It's sort of like what would happen if Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (sans the ultimate entitled prick of scientist, Victor Frankenstein) and Daphne du Maurier got together and made a gay horror baby.

I love seeing LGTIQA representation in this book. And it's really there, believe me, it's not just implied. I like that the whole environment is a character and it's quite a romantic, short little novella. The character of Carmilla is an incredible one, and this will be a firm favourite for a while to come.

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, I take my hat off to you. Thank you, sir. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |

One of the reasons why I liked Carmilla so much is it's a very good vampire story. It would be even better if I didn't know that from the beginning. Nobody's fault. Everyone knows Carmilla is a vampire story.

It was first published 1872 and people usually expect those to be a bit harder to get through. Carmilla is definitely not like that. It almost reads like a contemporary story.

There are sixteen chapters but the story itself was sort of divided in two parts. One is told to us by Laura, our young narrator, years later. The other is almost the same story which happened to another girl. This one is told to Laura and her father by the father's friend. It doesn't end well.
I won't retell the story itself.

Carmilla the character drove me crazy. I'll give you just one example what annoyed me about her. At one point of the story a funeral procession is passing by. People are singing a hymn. Laura, being a decent person, stands up and joins in the singing. Carmilla starts with you offend me with this and 'how can you tell that your religion and mine are the same'. She is a freaking guest there and neither Laura nor those people did anything offensive. ( )
  Aneris | Aug 12, 2016 |
It will come as no surprise to long-time readers that I loved Carmilla. I mean, it was a heavy influence for my beloved Dracula. What is surprising is that it took me this long to read it, or listen to it as the case may be. Suffice it to say, now that I have experienced Carmilla in all her Gothic glory, my heart is full.

One of the things I most enjoy about reading older novels is the use of language to express emotion as compared to today’s usage. What I find particularly interesting is that in an era in which friends “make love” with other friends as a way of showing affection, people remember Carmilla more for the sapphic relationship than for anything else. Victorian-era novels are always full of girls kissing other girls, sleeping together in the same bed, holding each other, etc., doing so as a way of showing their sisterly love for the other without any hidden meaning. Yet, in Carmilla we have two girls, one of who displays similar forms of affection for the other, and suddenly things are not as innocent as they seem. In fact, Laura declares her discomfort for Carmilla’s kissing and pronouncements of love. It is an intriguing shift in attitude, one that is obviously meant to indicate Carmilla’s dangerous nature, and quite indicative of the Victorian mindset about homosexuality in general.

It is obvious to see just how Carmilla influenced Bram Stoker; identifying such areas is half the fun of listening to it after all. Even some of the moral lessons are the same. One could almost make a checklist to compare the two. Still, total familiarity with one does not denote boredom with the other. In fact, I feel that knowing one makes it easier to enjoy the other because these two stories have had such a profound influence on the entire vampire sub-genre. Unlike Dracula though, Carmilla ‘s short story status means that it never drags and never has the chance to get corny or the characters annoying. It is a vampire story that gets to the point (hah!) and ends, making it a must-read for anyone interested in seeing the evolution of the vampire story through the ages.
1 vote jmchshannon | May 17, 2016 |
Hmz. "Wäre es nur ein bisschen so geschrieben wie 'The Yellow Wallpaper', wäre es 70000x besser als Dracula", denke ich. ( )
  kthxy | May 6, 2016 |
Interesting to think it was the first book of it's kind. There's definitely a jump from the lore familiar in the modern world but is probably more organic to the time and place in which it was written. A bit frustrated that Le Fanu hit you over the head with some aspects to make his point but left gaping holes in other aspects. That's the thing with Gothic fragmentary writing though, I guess. Overall, a really interesting read. ( )
  suttonrl | Mar 31, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (60 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanuprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Codd, RolandCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Follows, MeganNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hännikäinen, TimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juan, AnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Upon a paper attached to the Narrative which follows, Doctor Hesselius has written a rather elaborate note, which he accompanies with a reference to his Essay on the strange subject which the MS. illuminates.
In Styria, we, though by no means magnificent people, inhabit a castle, or schloss.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English


Book description
Carmilla is the book that set the text for Dracula, that threw the light on our morbid fascination with the vampire legend. This is Carmilla, J. Sheridan LeFanu's classic novel of blood, terror -- and a love that dare not speak its name.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 856202225X, Paperback)

The vampire novella "Carmilla" set in Austria is one of Le Fanu's best tales and greatly influenced Bram Stocker, who published Dracula 25 years later. This is definitively a great book and a must for the lovers of horror tales.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Got a hankering for top-notch Gothic horror? Lose yourself in J. Sheridan Le Fanus Carmilla, a titillating tale that centers on a lady-loving vampire who terrorizes an unsuspecting family in nineteenth-century Austria. Experts of the genre say that this novel exerted a significant influence on Bram Stoker when he was preparing to write Dracula.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Valancourt Books

An edition of this book was published by Valancourt Books.

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