Hallowread: Carmilla


It’s become something of mine to do a little special reading for the Halloween season. Two years ago, I read and blogged about Frankenstein along with HP of the Every Day Should Be Tuesday book review blog. Last year was Poctober, a reading of some of Edgar Allen Poe’s stuff.

This year it’s more Gothic horror for me – I’ll be reading through Carmilla and sharing my thoughts. Carmilla is one of the earliest vampire books. Written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, it was serialized in a literary magazine across 1871 and 1872, about 26 years before Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Although Carmilla is obviously less well-known than Dracula, I’ve read that Stoker was heavily influence by De Fanu’s work, and so I’m looking forward to seeing how much of that I can pick up. 

Carmilla has apparently been referenced by a considerable amount of media over the years. The Japanese, in particular, have used the name in several video games (including the Castlevania series), TV shows, and manga.

Among those familiar with Carmilla, one of the most noted elements of the story is the sapphic dynamic between the story’s female vampire and her victim. Given the time period in which it was written, I’ll be curious to see how De Fanu handled this.

If you’ve got any interest in checking it out, you can find Carmilla at Project Gutenberg.


  1. I’ve been moving too slowly on this, so I think I’m just going to reread Dracula. Maybe do like I did with Frankenstein and talk about some of the movies. But at least Dracula ties in with Carmilla fairly well.

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