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Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
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Carmilla (original 1872; edition 2011)

by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

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7233612,995 (3.67)136
Member:ChristinaDye
Title:Carmilla
Authors:Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), Paperback, 72 pages
Collections:E-books, Favorites
Rating:*****
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Work details

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

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English (35)  Swedish (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Love it!! ( )
  Gaby81 | Aug 28, 2014 |
For those unfamiliar with it, Carmilla is a short vampire story published in 1871 which influenced the writing of Dracula and the vampire sub-genera as a whole. It is also notable for its significant lesbian undertones.

I really liked Carmilla and found it easily accessible for the modern reader. The only issue I had with the writing was the over usage of certain words, “languid” in particular.

At the time it was written, Carmilla’s eventual unveiling as a vampire was supposed to be a surprise. There wasn’t the breadth of vampire material that there is today, and it hadn’t yet become known as a classic vampire story. I was worried about this coming in – how much of the story depends on the slow build up of Carmilla as a vampire? While it was obvious to the modern reader, I didn’t think that it took away from the story.

Carmilla isn’t exactly the type of vampire everyone’s familiar with – she can go out in the sun, usually only the late afternoon however. She’s beguiling and attractive and all who meet her tend to fall under her spell. She feeds upon young woman, killing most almost immediately, but with a few, she develops a relationship and drains slowly.

Carmilla is a must read for anyone interested in vampire literature or depictions of lesbian themes in classic literature, and I’d highly recommend it to everyone else too. It’s short, but there’s a real haunting depth to it.

This is a shortened version of my full review. To read it in it's entirety, visit my book review blog. ( )
  pwaites | Aug 1, 2014 |
A rare Victorian read that is short, crisp, and genuinely creepy. ( )
  Birdo82 | Jul 26, 2014 |
Carmilla is such a short book that it's totally inexcusable for any vampire fan not to have picked it up at some point. It's also a worthwhile read for people that are interested in depictions of homoeroticism in 19th century literature.

Carmilla is the story of a young girl who comes to meet the titular character after she falls ill near her family's home and she is allowed to rest there until her family returns for her. Of course, Carmilla is a vampire -- and a peculiar one at that that seems to prefer to prey on a specific subset of people. She is a sympathetic character despite her monstrousness, and at times it's hard to tell whether Carmilla is simply manipulating Laura entirely or legitimately has feelings for her. The truth about Carmilla is revealed gradually over the course of the story, as Laura falls further under her spell, and the build up is exciting and a little terrifying as you can tell that Laura does not want to believe what she does about her new friend, however ambivalent her feelings are about her. There were a lot of questions left unanswered, such as the nature of the group of people that leave Carmilla at Laura's home and I would be curious to read more about them. There are some attempts at bridging a history between Carmilla-of-the-past and Carmilla-of-the-future, but it's left sadly underdeveloped due to the length of the book. I'm tempted to go searching for expansions that I feel SURE must have been written later on by other writers featuring this character because she's so enchanting, but on it's own, Carmilla is still a brilliant early vampire book that really set the stage for a lot of the attributes we consider synonymous with vampires in fiction today. ( )
  vombatiformes | Apr 16, 2014 |
Published in 1872, this is considered one of the first vampire tales, predating Stoker's Dracula. The simple, short story is deceptive - it's a chilling tale, suspenseful and well-written. The characters are well-told, in particular the beautiful Carmilla. Haunting! A perfect read of the gothic tale enthusiastic or the vampire lover. ( )
  empress8411 | Mar 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (60 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanuprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hännikäinen, TimoTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Codd, RolandCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Follows, MeganNarratorsecondary 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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:40 -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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