Carmilla By J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu centres on (official blurb): “Isolated in a remote mansion in a central European forest, Laura longs for companionship – until a carriage accident brings another young woman into her life: the secretive and sometimes erratic Carmilla. As Carmilla’s actions become more puzzling and volatile, Laura develops bizarre symptoms, and as her health goes into decline, Laura and her father discover something monstrous. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s compelling tale of a young woman’s seduction by a female vampire was a source of influence for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which it predates by over a quarter century. Carmilla was originally serialized from 1871 to 1872 and went on to inspire adaptations in film, opera, and beyond, including the cult classic web series by the same name.”

First of all I just was to say that this edition of Carmilla is absolutely stunning and the illustrations featured inside are beautiful. Right now down to the main part of this post my review on not only Carmilla but also on an important piece of Vampire Literature. Whilst I’m glad to have finally read Carmilla and ticked off another key vampire text on my list in the end it just wasn’t for me. At points it was really repetitive and I feel if these points had been taken out and other parts been developed more then the story of Carmilla would have had such a better flow to it and would have been so much more engaging.

Throughout Carmilla there are elements of LGBTQIA+ especially with certain situations that occurred between the two main characters Carmilla and Laura. Whilst it was never notably acknowledged the author did a really good job at subtly interweaving moments into this novella that showed there was more to Carmilla and Laura’s relationship than just friendship. I really wish that these parts of the story had been developed a bit more as there was such clear chemistry and tension between these two young women. At times it was almost unbelievable that no-one else had noticed the attraction that these two characters had towards each other. I completely understand why they were not development more because of the fact Carmilla was written in 1872 and there was very strict rules on what authors and writers were allowed to publish within their novels. However, these brief moments between Carmilla and Laura really did make the story!

But to die as lovers may – to die together, so that they may live together.

It’s a well known fact that Carmilla was the inspiration for Dracula. Which may suggest that without this book we might not had gotten the Dracula we know today, but I believe this suggestion is very much open to debate. I do feel that Carmilla is definitely a book that has so much conversation around it that it would make for a great research paper. I definitely think if your new to the world of vampires this is the perfect starting point however, if your someone that is already well versed in the world of vampires then its quite possible that Carmilla will be more of a miss for you rather than a hit. As a lover of all forms of vampire media I still think Carmilla is an important piece of vampire literature to read.

Have you read Carmilla? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

(Photo is my mine own please do not copy/take without permission first).

One response to “Carmilla By J. Sheridan Le Fanu

  1. Pingback: February 2022 Wrap-Up | Where there's Ink there's Paper·

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