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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  51,040 ratings  ·  4,662 reviews
J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Gothic novella Carmilla is a precursor to Dracula by Bram Stoker. Yet it is an important one, and in Carmilla, the narrator Laura is uneasy but powerless under the obsessive attentions of – and potent spell cast by – the title character. Le Fanu ultimately describes the relationship between the two women with a typically Victorian stricture, yet the S ...more
Kindle Edition, 90 pages
Published July 17th 2013 by Waxkeep Publishing (first published 1872)
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Traci I have and I fell in love with it right away! My favorite season will always be season 1, but I loved the other two seasons and the bonus Season Zero,…moreI have and I fell in love with it right away! My favorite season will always be season 1, but I loved the other two seasons and the bonus Season Zero, as well as the little extras that went along with it. I'm looking forward to the movie that they're making for it, as well. It's nothing like the book, but I think I enjoyed it so much because I went into it figuring it wouldn't be so I was able to view as its own thing that was inspired by an awesome book.(less)
Kirsi I liked it - Gothic castle in Styria, mix of authentic vampire folklore - Carmilla is not pale nor burn in the sun - and Gothic romanticism. Carmilla …moreI liked it - Gothic castle in Styria, mix of authentic vampire folklore - Carmilla is not pale nor burn in the sun - and Gothic romanticism. Carmilla is gorgeous and has some effective dialogue. But it has zero action, lot of talk... so if you are bored by talky, actionless stories, you may not enjoy this. (less)
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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 publi
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Carmilla, J. Sheridan Le Fanu

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 med
Apr 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Carmilla. I guess there are only so many isolated noblemen's daughters you can devour before they start talking. ...more
Nick Pageant
Best vampire story ever written. Anyone who disagrees with me? It's on!

Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Vampires are gay. They've always been gay. Twilight was literally the first vampire story that wasn't gay. (Unless it was? I don't know, I didn't read it.) Dracula was our pioneering gay male vampire story. Carmilla, which predates it by some twenty years, is our pioneering lesbian one.

The authors themselves are not always gay. Bram Stoker was, of course - gayer than a guy who knows how to change the sheets on his bed - but Sheridan Le Fanu, the popular and terrific 1800s Gothic writer responsib
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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,
Graeme Rodaughan
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a languid, creepy, and spooky story.
Horror Reader Shocker! Spooky Vampire Leaves Wannabe Author Prostrated!: "What the FRACK!!! I can't get her out of my head!" - Vampire Guild Weekly

After reading this book, I am left frustrated and oddly underwhelmed, and yet there is an undeniable and dare I say it 'uncanny,' power to this story which is a mystery to me.

The smartest character in the story is the antagonist (who is not that smart), who proceeds to charm and bamboozle an array of protagonists who are all very nice, and not the lea
Fabian {Councillor}
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the horror genre
With Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, some of the most famously recognized horror stories of the nineteenth century have been created, yet only few people seem to know this little story which may have been the ultimate inspiration for Bram Stoker to write his popular novel Dracula. Carmilla is an early vampire story, laying the foundation of a genre which would see many other vampire tales in the upcoming years, until the development recently c ...more
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
.....Here it is OCTOBER and I'm stumped at finding a good scary read so I reverted to the GR list of Best Horror...then moved on to Best Gothic Books Of All Time and found this little gem.

.....While not scary, CARMILLA is indeed an atmospheric well told story and one of the earliest works of vampire fiction. First published in 1872, CARMILLA predates even DRACULA by more than 25 years.

.....It all begins with a creepy carriage filled with phantasmagoria and ends....well, I'm no

"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
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars for Carmilla: A Vampire Tale (audiobook) by J Sheridan Le Fanu read by Megan Follows. This is a very early gothic vampire tale. It was written 26 years before Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. It’s a rather short but very poetic story. I find it interesting to see how this mythology got its start. This was a great audiobook...5
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
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, classics
“I am sure, Carmilla, you have been in love; that there is, at this moment, an affair of the heart going on."

"I have been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you."

How beautiful she looked in the moonlight!”

Very Anne Rice, except that Carmilla predates Rice’s Interview with the Vampire by about a century, so Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu did the "sexy vampire" thing first. He did it even before Bram Stoker unleashed Dracula on the world. Carmilla is one o
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
This book was published in 1872 and is said to be the book that later inspired Dracula, it was brought to my attention by a fellow book dragon Salema and I couldn't wait to read it.

It's a short novella at 108 pages and is available as a free download so if you're into your vampires get downloading!

I read this in one sitting, it's so readable for a book written so long ago and I must say I enjoyed it. I'm coming to realise that I do enjoy a book where the narration is directed at the reader, it
Michael Sorbello
Laura lives in a secluded black castle amid an extensive forest in Styria with her father; a wealthy English widower relieved from his services to the Austrian Empire. On a stroll through the forest one gloomy evening, Laura comes upon the sight of a wrecked carriage with a lone young woman inside. She is a mysterious and intimidating noble from the family of Karnstein, her name is Carmilla. Once Carmilla is in the care of Laura's family, bizarre things begin to happen around the castle. The ten ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I got this book upon watching a movie on Netflix called, "The Moth Diaries". One of the classes the girls were in, the teacher passed this book out for them to read and review. And of course, I had to order a copy.

I thought it was pretty good for a short novella on vampires. It was a very different take and I did enjoy it.
Maria Lago
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before Dracula ever existed in Western society, sweet Carmilla / Millarca /Micarlla was already sucking life out of upper class maidens. Read and learn, Count. Read and learn.
Tom Mathews
Update: currently revisiting this wonderful novella with the fine folks at the Horror Aficionados group who have given me the the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books.

Predating Dracula by 26 years, Le Fanu's novella is a classic vampire tale that gets a lot less attention than it should. It is loaded with Gothic atmosphere and also introduces a lesbian vampire theme that, while appropriately circumspect, is unmistakable and something that I never would have expected in
Such a classic, old school, vampire novel.

The unsuspecting hosts, the beautiful and mysterious guest. The girl who begins to grow wearier day by day. The strange behaviours of the beloved guest.

It just builds the suspense so brilliantly, and part of the fun is in seeing how these rational people deal with the irrational.

This one was interesting because the vampire is a girl very similar to her victim, and there is the element of friendship (and courtship?) that makes things so much more sinister
After my re-read of this classic, I would give Carmilla 3.5 stars.

I loved the atmosphere and the language, even if I thought it was a bit too flowery at times.

I know that it's wrong to judge a work of this age by today's standards, but man, everyone in this book seemed stupid and too naive to be believable. The whole time, I was thinking "My God, man, wake up!"

I'm glad I re-read this one but I think that shall be it for me with Carmilla.
''I hate funerals. What a fuss! Why you must die—everyone—must die.''

Carmilla can drink my blood anytime. Kill me you sapphic queen. Poor girl, just wanted a girlfriend but they kept dying.

Laura is the definition of useless lesbian. I said what I said.

“All things proceed from Nature.”
She is not evil. She is just a regular predator. Her actions aren't more evil than the actions of any other predator. She has to drink blood to survive. It’s just a natural instinct.

I think that this is the
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carmilla and her mother were riding a carriage in the middle of the woods but unfortunately they meet with an accident near the castle, and Laura's father offers to help the two women. Since Carmilla's mother has an important errand, the unwell Carmilla is asked to stay at the Castle until she returns.

Young Laura is excited as she has a companion: this pale young girl who is as excited as she is to have a friend. Narrated by Laura, this book reveals her strange experiences after Carmilla stays w
✨Bean's Books✨
Before Dracula there was Carmilla!
Originally published in 1872, Dracula in 1897, this chronicles the story of a young woman's susceptibility to another seemingly young woman's (Carmilla) affections. But something is very wrong and has been wrong ever since Carmilla came into the picture. Can they stop this evil before it goes too far?
This is complete and utter speculation but I just want to put it out there... this could very well be the novel that Bram Stoker read that indeed inspired him to wr
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author takes advantage of the power of contrast. Many horror writers use contrast to throw a reader's mind off balance. Stephen King made Pennywise a joking freak of a clown, and Randal Flagg a humorous and diabolical psycho-demon. In this story, a small girl meets Carmilla, two petite and intimate little girls. The contrast twists the mind into suspended insanity when supernatural visitations come, and the small girl correlates to the events. His descriptions of vampires bring a terror seen ...more
Carmilla was actually written prior to and was an inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. That was how I first heard about this novella. I read the Wikipedia article about it and found many of the details fascinating—the evil vampire is female, and has the ability to turn into a cat. So, I decided to pick this up and read it before digging in to Dracula, and also just because I’m a sucker for vampire fiction.

Actual Rating: 4.2

This went by surprisingly quickly. I think that’s partially because of
Tom Lewis
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“But to die as lovers may - to die together, so that they may live together.”

Okay, how many vampire books have you read that contain that kind of elegant prose. Carmilla is a novella that was written in 1872, so it pre-dates Dracula by about 25 years. And a lot of its influence is later seen in Dracula.

Being as old as it is, there’s no twists that will catch a modern reader by surprise, as pretty much every variation on the vampire genre has been played out. But what you will find is something s
Apr 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  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
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Classic Trash: Carmilla: In Progress (No Spoilers Please) 14 22 Aug 10, 2020 02:20PM  
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Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu 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 Churchyar ...more

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“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.” 271 likes
“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.” 206 likes
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