Sheridan Le Fanu Carmilla

ISBN 13: 9781906263348

Carmilla

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9781906263348: Carmilla

Laura, the protagonist, narrates, beginning with her childhood in a "picturesque and solitary" castle amid an extensive forest in Styria, where she lives with her father, a wealthy English widower retired from service to the Austrian Empire. When she was six, Laura had a vision of a beautiful visitor in her bedchamber. She later claims to have been punctured in her breast, although no wound was found. Twelve years later, Laura and her father are admiring the sunset in front of the castle when her father tells her of a letter from his friend, General Spielsdorf. The General was supposed to bring his niece, Bertha Rheinfeldt, to visit the two, but the niece suddenly died under mysterious circumstances. The General ambiguously concludes that he will discuss the circumstances in detail when they meet later. Laura, saddened by the loss of a potential friend, longs for a companion. A carriage accident outside Laura's home unexpectedly brings a girl of Laura's age into the family's care. Her name is Carmilla. Both girls instantly recognize the other from the "dream" they both had when they were young. Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and one of the early works of vampire fiction, predating Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) by 26 years. First published as a serial in The Dark Blue (1871–72), the story is narrated by a young woman preyed upon by a female vampire named Carmilla, later revealed to be Mircalla, Countess Karnstein (Carmilla is an anagram of Mircalla). The story is often anthologized and has been adapted many times in film and other media.

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About the Author:

Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (28 August 1814 – 7 February 1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. M. R. James described Le Fanu as "absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories". Three of his best-known works are Uncle Silas, Carmilla and The House by the Churchyard.

From AudioFile:

The appearance of a young and beautiful houseguest jolts young Laura into remembering what may or may not have been a childhood nightmare. Strangely, her visitor, Carmilla, has exactly the same recollection. As Laura's health wanes throughout the visit, Carmilla's vivacity grows. Who would guess she's been dead for over 150 years? Megan Follows's dark and dramatic reading of this vampire classic complements the text perfectly. Refraining from characterization, she recounts Le Fanu's tale from Laura's horrified perspective, vividly illuminating her early relationship with Carmilla, colored by the clarity of retrospection, as the story is recalled later in Laura's life. Follows's voice shudders with disgust at Carmilla's evil, as do her listeners. R.P.L. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Sheridan Le Fanu
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Sheridan Le Fanu
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