Book Review: Carmilla, J. Sheridan Le Fanu.

A Vampire Story in 1872

If you want to see my review on Goodreads, click here. ♡

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The writer who inspired Bram Stroker’s Dracula

So much meaning in such a few pages. When the word “vampire” crosses our minds, we more or less naturally think “Dracula”. But according to you, who inspired Bram Stroker? Was he the first to write stories about vampires? He was not, for sure. Vampires have been crowding myths and fiction for centuries and one of the first writers to use “vampires” as the core of is story is Sheridan Le Fanu.
Sheridan Le Fanu is an Irish author who famously wrote In a Glass Darkly, in which he published several (gothic) short stories. Let me tell you Le Fanu’s stories have nothing to do with our contemporary “horror-stories”: they are disturbing, frightening… for real.


A Feminist Vampire?

Homosexuality & strong women

Carmilla is not part of In a Glass Darkly but follows the same theme insofar as vampires are involved; however, it is a Novella, which means its length is between a (long) short-story and a novel. In Carmilla, one can see the evolution of an homoerotic love-story (at the time of Le Fanu, it was “quite” daring!)

I particularly loved how this love-story was depicted and how it came before the actual “vampire-story”. I loved how we reader could feel that something was wrong with Carmilla, but did not know until the end whether something was actually wrong or if we were just… mad ourselves.

To conclude, I must say that I loved how feminist this novella was as, even though the end shows a triumph of the patriarchy, the whole novella shows the power of a woman through the ages and, once again, it was a daring experiment for Le Fanu.

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