"This classic gothic novella is one that definitely deserves more attention. Not only did it inspire Dracula, but the whole of vampire lore. It also features two female main characters who are positively infatuated with each other.
recommended if you like: Gothic lit, queer women longing for each other"
Carmilla created the modern vampire. She was the first romantic vampire, and after inspiring Bram Stoker's Dracula she has continued with us, always in the shadow, influencing culture with a subtlety that is as alluring as it is elitist. A multi-layered story of love, loss, and a yearning for both a past and a future unobtainable, and finally of great sacrifice, Carmilla ranks as one of the world's great tragedies. A lonely young girl living in a desolate forest is befriended by a young countess after what seems a chance encounter. Laura's innocence prevents her from seeing the obvious, that her new friend Carmilla is a demon of the highest order, and one who has fallen passionately in love with her. Over time Carmilla's lust for Laura and her soul overpower her caution, and the serenity of a life of seclusion becomes a nightmarish existence for Laura as her world unravels in ways that can never be repaired. This is an archival quality presentation of the original unabridged story.
About the Author
J. Sheridan Le Fanu has been said to be the father of the English ghost story, and is arguably one of the most important writers in modern history. The story contained in this volume was a major source of inspiration for Bram Stoker, who later wrote Dracula. Carmilla (our heroine), was the progenitor of the vampire romance movement. Without Carmilla there would be no sensual or alluring vampires. Legend, and recorded history, had vampires to be foul creatures with horrid smells emanating from them, bloated bodies saturated with blood, and grotesque nails of sometimes extraordinary length. Carmilla changed all of that, and she has the honor of being the earliest example of a vampire story in English literature. J. Sheridan Le Fanu penned more than a dozen novels over his lifetime, including his famous The House by the Churchyard, and Uncle Silas: a Tale of Bartram Haugh, in addition to writing numerous short stories, articles, and other works. But to this day, unknown to most of the public, Carmilla still casts a long shadow, as all modern vampires owe her a great debt of gratitude, one she will extract one day. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu died in Dublin on the 7th of February 1873. Carmilla lives on, whispering her secrets in the occasional ear. It is from these whisperings that this volume was born.