Sheridan Le Fanu and the Vampire Camilla


    Today August 28, 2014 Google United Kingdom is celebrating the life and legacy of “Sheridan Le Fanu”. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the Nineteenth Century and were responsible for the best Ghost-Stories and Mysteries during the Victorian Era.


    Many consider his three best works titled the Uncle Silas, Carmilla and The House by the Churchyard.

    It is indeed one of these that are featuring most prominently in today’s Google Doodle. The theme in today’s doodle is about the Vampire Camilla.

    About the Vampire Camilla

    Carmilla is a Gothic novel by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1871 as a serial narrative in The Dark Blue, it tells the story of a young woman’s susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla.

    Carmilla predates Bram Stoker’s Dracula by 26 years, and has been adapted many times for cinema.

    Carmilla, the title character, is the original prototype for a legion of female and lesbian vampires.

    Though Sheridan Le Fanu portrays his vampire’s sexuality with the circumspection that one would expect for his time, it is evident that lesbian attraction is the main dynamic between Carmilla and the narrator of the story.

    About Sheridan Le Fanu

    He was born on August 28, 1814 in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland in the United Kingdom and died on February 7, 1873 in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. He was an Author and writer and although he wrote in many genres he is mostly remembered for his mystery, gothic and horror stories.


    “Carmilla” by David Henry Friston

    Sheridan Le Fanu Major Works

    • Uncle Silas (1864), a macabre mystery novel and classic of gothic horror. It is a much extended adaptation of his earlier short story “Passage in the Secret History of an Irish Countess”, with the setting changed from Ireland to England. A film version under the same name was made by Gainsborough Studios in 1947, and a remake entitled The Dark Angel, starring Peter O’Toole as the title character, was made in 1987.
    • In a Glass Darkly (1872), a collection of five short stories in the horror and mystery genres, presented as the posthumous papers of the occult detective Dr Hesselius:
      • “Green Tea”
      • “The Familiar”
      • “Mr Justice Harbottle” (perhaps better known in its earlier, very different version, “An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street”)
      • “The Room in the Dragon Volant”, not a ghost story but a notable mystery story that includes the theme of premature burial
      • “Carmilla”, a compelling tale of a lesbian vampire, set in central Europe. This story was to greatly influence Bram Stoker in the writing of Dracula. It also inspired several films, including Hammer’s The Vampire Lovers (1970), Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses (1960), Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932) and Harry Kümel’s Daughters of Darkness in 1971