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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 - 1873)

Lifespan: 1814 - 1873

Related: gothic novel - British literature - Carmilla (1872)

Carmilla (1872) - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Le Fanu's plots are well-crafted and vivid, though some find his prose too wordy and his characters frustratingly daft. He specialised in tone and effect rather than shock horror, often following a mystery format. Yet to the delicate sensibility, tales such as the vampire novella Carmilla can be profoundly effective.

Carmilla was to greatly influence Bram Stoker in the writing of Dracula. A very early work, A Chapter in the History of the Tyrone Family (1839), may have influenced Emily Brontė's Wuthering Heights. He is sometimes said to be the father of the Victorian Irish ghost story. Considering the influence of his work, it is surprising that Le Fanu is not better appreciated.


Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (August 28, 1814 - February 7, 1873) was an Irish-born writer of short stories and novels concerning the strange and supernatural. His work is an early example of the genre of horror fiction. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheridan_le_Fanu [Aug 2004]

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