Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Carmilla” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Book


3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  17,389 ratings  ·  1,131 reviews
A young woman living at her father's castle is the narrator of this novella. When a mysterious and beautiful stranger is stranded at the castle in odd circumstances and becomes a guest, the heroine quickly forms a close bond with her --but she subsequently discovers that her "friend" has a dark and lethal secret.
Paperback, 124 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Livre de Poche (first published 1871)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Carmilla, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

raleigh Yes! Vervegirl TV's web series on Youtube is what influenced me to read this short book. While the show is very loosely based off the original story,…moreYes! Vervegirl TV's web series on Youtube is what influenced me to read this short book. While the show is very loosely based off the original story, I enjoyed both. Be forewarned, however, that the end of this book is NOT anything remotely like the show's happy ending. If you choose to read it, even if you've seen that delightful show, try to come in with as few assumptions and expectations as possible. It's a haunting story, and my mind is still reeling from it. (less)
Glenn Goettel Rambling, verbose and the ending is an utter failure. That said, this protagonist first-person of an isolated woman, frightened and confused by a…moreRambling, verbose and the ending is an utter failure. That said, this protagonist first-person of an isolated woman, frightened and confused by a same-sex attraction, is further proof- were any needed- that Victorians were quite adept at channeling their sexuality into romance, particularly gothic with a paranormal edge.(less)
Dracula by Bram StokerThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley JacksonA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Graveyards, Cemeteries and other haunted places
30th out of 251 books — 114 voters
Remembrance by Michelle MadowIncarnate by Jodi MeadowsV for Vendetta by Alan MooreVengeance by Michelle MadowThe Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
115th out of 136 books — 76 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Bloody relevant to read!


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

This is a very important book in historic sense, in the genre of vampire reading, due that it was published 25 years before than Dracula.

Also, it presented lesbian situations, easily one of the first open mentions of the topic in literature.

So, it was a pioneer book in two subjects: Vampires and Lesbian literature.

Some may wonder how it was possible to publish a b
PRETTY AVERAGE. I don't feel like I particularly learned anything. It was a very monotone and non-climactic. Very /quaint/. And the giant plot twist was spoiled for me (i mean, it'd be spoiled for anyone living in 2015 because it's SO OBVIOUS) but I really feel that that spoilers shouldn't have the power to ruin a story, but I really feel that all this book had was that one spoiler.

I still see merit in it, don't get me wrong. I read it for school and after intense studying I can see value in it,
In many ways the antithesis of Dracula, and if Stoker's novel disappointed me with its clean-cut, heterosexual male-influenced dichotomies, than le Fanu's novella is the flipside of the coin: female-centric, homoerotic, ambiguous and enigmatic (and all in about a quarter of the length!). Here the vampire is not the withered, evil "Other" but the beautiful, sensuous stranger that is readily welcomed into home and heart, becoming the double for the protagonist, leading to a very different sense of ...more
Nick Pageant
Best vampire story ever written. Anyone who disagrees with me? It's on!

Dec 04, 2013 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of vampire fiction, or of supernatural fiction in general
Note, Oct. 1, 2012: I just modified this review slightly to incorporate a changed perspective I came to as a result of a discussion in one of my groups.

This book is one of the best treatments of the vampire theme I have read (admittedly, I haven't read very many --even counting the ones I didn't like enough to finish!). While the author's diction is Victorian, the book is a short, quick read (unlike the massive tomes that some 19th-century novels are), so it shouldn't be daunting even for reader
Aren't the books that we like the most, the harder to review?
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu became one of my favourite book of all time, it spoke to my soul through words of darkness, each sentence was like sweet melancholic music echoing and engraving in me.
Sentences like “Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessit
Barry Pierce
I'm glad this was a novella. While the plot is interesting and the writing is just superb the entire concept of "oh she's a vampire, no wait, she's a lesbian vampire" gets tired quite quickly. However this is one of those works that you have to read just off of its sheer influence alone. The trope of the lesbian vampire was so important in early horror movies, B-movies and especially Giallo horror.

(Also I love the fact that two of the most pioneering and influential works of vampire fiction wer
The image of the vampire has been through a series of metamorohosis: the vampire Dracula trying to adapt to the Industrial Revolution, the story of vampirism that proclaims that only the Greeks of the Orthodox Church whose bodies are reanimated by the devil,etc. A lot of these are ofcourse conjectures and delusions. But once in a while, there comes this carefully constructed narrative, a story that thrills, a potion that excites and inspires a whole slew of other works. Perhaps, I have already h ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I read this story out of the A Taste for Blood Anthology. I was excited to finally read the story that is really the grandmother of the vampire tale. It preceded Dracula by Bram Stoker by more than twenty years.

Well I have to say that I have mixed feelings about Carmilla. In some moments, it was very eerie, if not downright frightening, but those moments didn't quite occur often enough for me. There were passages of description that became rather mind-numbingly boring. I have read enough classic
Apr 28, 2009 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of The Turn of the Screw
An atmospheric delight, gems of beautiful images falling off the page in a simple, straightforward, and yet strangely enthralling sequence. Laced through beautifully with the Victorian obsessions of scientific inquiry and the grotesque- of its time, certainly, but beautifully explored for all that. No one does feverish obsession quite like the Victorians.

However, our lady narrator is dumber than Dumbo's inbred country cousin. Shame she fell victim to the narrator explains it all storytelling dev
I honestly don't know what to say about this book. It's at once hilarious and ridiculous but clever and full of interesting things to critique. And lesbian vampires. Never doubt the Victorian ability to bring innuendo to every situation.
[Spoiler at the end, read at your own risk.]

Seems like lately I never can keep track of how I found out about a particular book. The last thing I read was about Lincoln and flatboats so I'm pretty sure it wasn't that which led me to Carmilla.

Anyway, whatever it was, I'm glad it happened. Of course the first thing I heard is, "This is the book that influenced Stoker to write Dracula" and that alone of course was reason to read it. I felt kind of stupid for never having heard of it before - I just
Poor Carmilla. I guess there are only so many isolated noblemen's daughters you can devour before they start talking.
"The amphibious existence of the vampire is sustained by daily renewed slumber in the grave. Its horrible lust for living blood supplies the vigor of its waking existence. The vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence, resembling the passion of love, by particular persons… It will never desist until it has satiated its passion, and drained the very life of its coveted victim."

This description of a vampire is not anything new and surprising to anyone that has an interest in v
"El amor exige sacrificios, y en los sacrificios corre la sangre. Ahora deja que me abandone al sueño."

El mito inicial, aterradoramente bello, donde la extraña seducción, parecida a un amor apasionado, y la alimentación se conjuntan para envolvernos en las redes de esta vampireza. Carmilla es un personaje hermoso, condenada a la vida eterna, pero hechizante y cautivador, deja un rastro en el lector tan fuerte como lo dejo en Laura.

"Yo vivo en ti, y tú morirás en mí."

El cuento, nos muestra co
So, this week I read two intense tales of strange longing and obsession from the 1870s: the S&M classic "Venus in Furs" and this lesbian-flavored vampire tale, which, you can read for free, and quickly as it is short, at Project Gutenberg ( I liked "Venus in Furs" more; for me it had more overall gravitas, but this vampire book is impressive and heartbreaking in its own right.

In terms of conveying the idea of the multi-generational lifespan of the vampire, this book is superio
Esta historia es totalmente imprescindible para los amantes y seguidores de la literatura vampírica. Es sin duda alguna un clásico de esta corriente. Con una trama rompe esquemas, un suspenso muy bien logrado, un estilo poético, y una forma diferente y misteriosa de ver el vampirismo, Carmilla se quedó con un lugar muy importante en mi experiencia de lectura vampírica.

In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die--die, sweetly die--into mine. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.

Carmilla proved to be a delicious detour. Such was a GR group read. I flashed from the gate on a rather warm October evening and finished the nov
First published in 1872, Carmilla is a hugely influential vampire story told by a young girl called Laura, starved of the company of children her own age. After a coach crash not far from her castle home in Styria, her family agree to look after another young girl called Carmilla for a period of some months. Laura recognises the girl at once from a disturbing dream from years earlier. And Carmilla admits to having the same dream. In the nearby village the deaths begin.
The enduring literary emble
juan carlos

This was a really great novella, an early depiction of vampirism that as far as I know predates the famous Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Le Fanu experiments with elements of lesbianism, horror, and gothic in this carefully crafted novella that is related from the point of view of Laura, a woman who as a young girl encountered an attractive and bewitching girl named Carmilla... although she is not all she seems.

If you like vampire fiction then I'd highly recommend this - it's a quick and captivating rea
Camille Stein
'Jamás desistirá hasta haber saciado su pasión y succionado la vida misma de su codiciada víctima. Pero, en esos casos, economizará y prolongará su disfrute asesino con un refinamiento epicúreo, realzado por las aproximaciones graduales de un complicado galanteo.'

Ya el mismo nombre del lugar donde se desarrolla la trama, Estiria, inicia el proceso de complicidad que Le Fanu pretende del lector: ambientación turbadora, atmósfera desolada y opresiva, paisaje inmenso y fantasmagórico... Tan fantas
I finally read this story after having enjoyed Le Fanu's ghost,weird stories for few years. His prose in this story was finer than in his other stories, the way he build the supernatural,creepy mood was near perfect. Carmilla,Laura,the schloss(palace), the gothic country side etc was really well done. The kind of horror story, vampire horror i rate highly when its well written. Carmilla i might have expected to be less freaky ruthless monster which is a nice surprise. I liked how naturally her b ...more
A Gothic horror novel featuring a beautiful lesbian vampire, understated as you would expect in a Victorian era novel. This short novel was well structured and very well written. I enjoyed it more than Dracula to be honest, and Carmilla was written two decades before Bram Stoker's classic.
Dimentichiamoci la Meyer, la Rice, Buffy e tutti quelli che in questi anni ci stanno bombardando di vampiri e derivati.
Carmilla è la degna compagna di Dracula, è la vampira originale.
In un racconto di neanche 100 pagine Le Fanu è stato in grado di creare un mito indimenticabile. E se leggendo quelle pagine ora, nel 2009, ci rendiamo conto fin dalla prima pagina di come si svilupperà la storia, di come andrà a finire, ciò non toglie nulla all'essenza di questo "gioiello" della letteratura gotic
Carmilla is famous for basically one thing: Carmilla herself, the prototype for lesbian vampires everywhere. It was a bit of a pleasant surprise to discover that Carmilla is also a good read. The story is presented as the account of a girl (Laura) that Carmilla is fixated on. (Does she love her? I couldn't say. Is there desire there? Oh, yes.) Laura's voice rings very true, and it's through her eyes that we see Carmilla as fascinating and attractive. (I would call this the Bram Stoker school of ...more
Diz na contra-capa deste livro que foi a inspiração para Bram Stoker escrever "Drácula", assim que tomei conhecimento então deste pequenino, quis lê-lo antes de me aventurar a ler Bram Stoker.

A história é muito simples e contada em capítulos curtos e com letas enormes nesta edição da civilização.

Carmilla é então a vampira da história, aparece à nossa personagem principal após ter tido um acidente na sua carruagem em que viajava com a sua mãe.
Como a nossa personagem principal vivia num castelo c
El Marcapaginas
Maravilla gótica que me ha enamorado. Un historia llena de castillos, sangre y vampiras con tintes lésbicos. Se ha convertido en una de mis novelas favoritas, ¿qué tendrán los colmillos que me gustan tanto?.

Reseña: http://elmarcapaginas-loco.blogspot.c...
César Lasso
Read in Madrid, and finished past midnight... But we don't believe in vampyres in the city; at least, in the traditional sense, because we actually have paedophiles and corrupt politicians.

Predictable, since I devoured all the British Hammer films as a child and vampyrophilia has few surprises to shock me at a time when my hair goes whiter and whiter.

But if you live in a lonely place in the countryside, a place where you might shout without being heard, be careful with the carefully written twil
Simay Yildiz
For English, please visit Community BookStop.
Orijinali canlabirsene ve Zimlicious'ta yayınlandı.

Asabi bir ergenken Bram Stoker’ın kaleme aldığı Dracula’yı okuduğum günden beri içinde vampir olan her şeye hop diye atlıyorum; durduramıyorum kendimi. Eskiden, yani yine ben ergenken, pek de kolay bulunmuyordu böyle şeyler. Sonrasında Twilight’ın patlamasıyla (ki o seriyi bile zevkle okudum; vampir açlığıma veriyorum) coşup gittiler. Aslında iyi bir şey olması lazımdı bunun, özellikle benim gibi okur
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre
  • Varney the Vampire
  • The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories
  • Zofloya
  • The Blood of the Vampire
  • The House of the Vampire
  • The Beetle
  • The Vampire Tapestry
  • La Morte Amoureuse
  • Melmoth the Wanderer
  • Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
  • The Willows
  • The Italian
  • Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales
  • The Monk
  • Wagner the Werewolf
  • The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson
  • Dracula's Guest and Other Victorian Vampire Stories
Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the premier ghost story writer of the nineteenth century and had a seminal influence on the development of this genre in the Victorian era.
More about Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu...

Share This Book

“For some nights I slept profoundly; but still every morning I felt the same lassitude, and a languor weighed upon me all day. I felt myself a changed girl. A strange melancholy was stealing over me, a melancholy that I would not have interrupted. Dim thoughts of death began to open, and an idea that I was slowly sinking took gentle, and, somehow, not unwelcome possession of me. If it was sad, the tone of mind which this induced was also sweet. Whatever it might be, my soul acquiesced in it.” 146 likes
“You will think me cruel, very selfish, but love is always selfish; the more ardent the more selfish. How jealous I am you cannot know. You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me, and still come with me, and hating me through death and after. There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature.” 138 likes
More quotes…