Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu Book Review

I read this for the first time a little bit ago and I liked it 💗  What's not to like about dark love?!

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Released 1872 (!)
Horror Fiction |  Goodreads | Amazon 

Source: Audible Freebie
A classic Victorian vampire novella, which influenced Bram Stoker's later treatment of the vampire mythos in Dracula.

These Are My Thoughts

This was my first reading of this classic tale of dark secrets written in 1872. 1872?! That fact stuns me after finally giving this a novella read. There is a quite a surprising amount of sexuality for such an ancient tome or did the world get ever more prudish as the years went by? There were lesbian kisses and touches and I think I even detected a wee bit of some non-consensual touchy-feely too! But, man, is it ever flowery in its telling. The purple prose is oh-so-strong but it really does throw one back in time and allow the atmosphere to drip off the page so I’m not complaining. Just prepare yourself for some unrestrained writing. There are trembling embraces and languid and burning eyes and so much more to behold here.

Basically this a story about a sheltered young lady whose father takes in a strange, beautiful young lady named Carmilla after her mother inexplicably leaves her for three months to take care of some business or another. Carmilla is ailing from what appears to me to be nothing more than a case of the vapors but mom dashes off anyway, saying she cannot take the poor ailing thing along with her. Hmmm, I don’t know about the rest of you but that would make me mighty suspicious!

Carmilla is ailing from something a bit more sinister than the vapors and mom’s dump and drop makes a lot of sense when everything is eventually revealed. I won’t reveal the whole thing because it’s short and I think you should read it for yourself. Just know that it was enjoyable and beautifully atmospheric and if you’re a fan of Dracula and all of his offspring and offshoots, you should give this a read.

4 out of 5


  1. I love all these old-timey vampire stories. Even ones with purple prose. :)

  2. I love this book, and I was a teenager when I read it. I remember it being sort of shocking!

    1. It is pretty shocking considering the time it was written especially!

  3. Ooh Dracula being mentioned perked me right up.

    1. Yes! You should give it a read. It's a nice little book to read on a gloomy, rainy day or whenever :)

  4. It seems like we go through prudish phases lol

    How fun to discover and enjoy something from so long ago.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  5. Loved your review. Now I'm curious about this one.


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