Carmilla A Vampire Tale, Uncle Silas and The Familiar
Carmilla A Vampire Tale, Uncle Silas and The Familiar
Carmilla A Vampire Tale, Uncle Silas and The Familiar
Price: $23.12 FREE for Members
Type: Audio Book
Format: mp3
Language: English

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu has been the inspiration and motive force behind a great deal of modern horror literature; his tales of horror inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula; it was the custom, according to Henry James, for Victorian hosts to place a volume of his stories on a guest's bedside table for 'the hours after midnight'; and M R James, the famous ghost story teller, considered him 'absolutely in the front rank' as a supernatural writer. Yet in modern times Le Fanu has been unaccountably ignored.

Usually, I draw the line at horror and vampyre tales but, having read Stoker's 'Dracula', I decided that a Classic is a Classic and therefore worth the while. And knowing Dorothy L. Sayers has been a a great admirer of Le Fanu, his classics should not be missed:

Carmilla A Vampyre Tale (1872)

This was the very first vampire thriller! Pure innocence becomes the target of age-old evil. Virtuous Laura has grown up in a solitary castle and longs for a close friend. Her wish seems granted with the arrival of a beautiful and mysterious stranger named Carmilla. A friendship develops but the brooding mood and sexual overtones mar Laura's happiness. Carmilla and Laura both appear young, beautiful, and innocent. But one is an ageless vampire; the other, an unsuspecting victim. True to vampire rituals involving blood, fear of dying, and obsessive eroticism, Carmilla herself falls victim to the "rapture of cruelty that is love." Will she escape with her life and spirit?

Uncle Silas (1864)

When rich recluse Austin Ruthyn dies from a heart attack, Maud, his daughter is made a ward to the sinister Uncle Silas. Silas is already suspected of the grisly murder of a creditor several years earlier but has never been tried for the crime. Should Maud die before she reaches her majority, Silas will inherit the family fortune. Rejecting an offer of marriage from the distasteful Dudley, Silas' son, Maud finds out later that he is already married. Then father and son pretend to send her to school in France but she awakes to find herself prisoner and the two frightful villains, aided by the disgraced Madame de Rougierre, once Maud's governess, plan to murder the heroine in an horrific manner.

And for those who have not had enough here another hair-raising story:

The Familiar (1851)

It tells the story of a retired sea captain's life being destroid by a phantom hauting him. Joseph Sheridan LeFanu was one of the major figures of 19th-century supernaturalism. He helped move supernaturalist fiction away from the gothic's emphasis on external sources of terror and toward a focus on the effects of terror, thus helping to create the psychological basis for supernaturalist and horror literature that continues today. "The Familiar" is one of his most terrifying tales.


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