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Carmilla Paperback – 27 May 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 98 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (27 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147754965X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477549650
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Publisher

ABOUT THE READER:

Tracey has just finished a sell-out run playing Martha to Matthew Kelly's George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at London's Trafalgar Studios.

Tracey is best known for playing Lynne Howard in the popular eighties drama Howards' Way, and Linda Cosgrove in the long running Born and Bred.

Theatre credits include The New Vic's production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Great Gatsby, Sybil in Private Lives, Stepping Out, No Sex Please, We're British, Why Me?, The Hollow and The Unexpected Guest. Television work includes Prometheus, playing Rose in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Devil's Crown, The Amazing Affair of Adelaide Harris, Strangers, Landseer- Working Out The Beast, playing Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, Bergerac, Jane Eyre, Captain Zep, A Talent for Murder, As Seen on TV and Dempsey and Makepeace. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

The foremost teller of scary stories in his day and a profound influence on both the novelists and filmmakers of the 20th century, Anglo-Irish author JOSEPH THOMAS SHERIDAN LE FANU (1814-1873) has, sadly, fallen out of scholarly and popular favor, and unfairly so. To this day, contemporary readers who happen across his works praise his talent for weaving a tense literary atmosphere tinged by the supernatural and bolstered by hints of ambiguous magic. "Carmilla" is Le Fanu's 1872 novella--also included in the collection of short fiction In a Glass Darkly--of lesbian vampirism, a chilling and terrifying tale of a young girl who comes under the evil influence of a female vampire. The prototype of an entire subgenre of vampire fiction, a clear inspiration for Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, and the source material for countless movies, this is one of the more significant yet least appreciated works of pop culture of the past two centuries. With a series of new editions of Le Fanu's works, Cosimo is proud to reintroduce modern book lovers to the writings of the early master of suspense fiction who pioneered the concept of "psychological horror."
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Feb. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I never get tired of this tale, so I was glad to see that it was available on kindle for free. If you are into vampire fiction then you have surely read this before, if not many times. First published in 1872, this tale was more influential upon Dracula than any other.

The story is told us from the perspective of Laura, who lives with her father in a schloss in Styria. At six she had what others attributed a nightmare, but she thinks was a real occurence. Jump forward to Laura at nineteen, when she meets Carmilla.

Although this is a vampire tale there is a strong lesbian theme between the two young ladies, although this isn't overt and is fitting with the time it was written. Usually overshadowed by Dracula these days this is really a tale that is a classic in its own rights.
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With it being one of the oldest vampire books written, you've got to give it a try even if you don't think this is your style at first. The writings is beyond beautiful in this short tale, with its gradual build to an amazing end.
With its subtext of vampires and lesbianism, it shows what modern thought the author had in the nineteenth century.
The style is Victorian, and as a huge fan of Shakespeare's work, I enjoyed the comfort of the writing style the victorians had to offer.
I really recommend reading this book, just one to have put in the collection; while also giving an insight into how the vampire horror genre all began.
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Set in 19th century Austria, Laura is a lonely young woman living with her father and their two servants in the Styrian countryside until one fateful night when she and her father encounter a mysterious stagecoach barrelling through the forest near their house. Rather rashly, her father agrees to let the sickly young woman inside stay in their house while her strange mother continue on her journey. And then people in the surrounding area start dying of an unknown disease and the peasants start muttering about an "oupire". Who, or what, is Laura's new friend, Carmilla, really - and will she survive the encounter long enough to find out?

Nowadays vampires are so prevalent in popular culture, nearly everyone knows about them. Their traits, their behaviours, every aspect of the vampire is so well defined that this Victorian story can seem quaint in the way it plays up the mystery of Carmilla. But when J. Sheridan Le Fanu's novella Carmilla was published in 1872 (the year before the author's death), the vampire was a relatively unknown creature in popular culture. John Polidori's short story The Vampyre had been published to some success a few decades earlier and the pulpy Varney the Vampire had been a popular series, but Bram Stoker's Dracula, the most famous vampire novel ever written and the book that would launch vampires permanently into the mainstream, wouldn't appear for another 25 years.

In fact, Carmilla is credited by Stoker as an influence in the creation of his novel, and it's easy to see why.
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Ingrid Pitt was perfect for the Hammer Film version of 'Carmilla' and brought with it an understanding that this is Not about being a lesbian nor
any other sexual orientation. This is a fascinating piece of writing that will please for many many years to come and more for what it is 'Vamp Pires' a take on words.
As Ingrid herself has pointed out several times on filmed interviews; 'she loves men' and when she was making the film, Carmilla,
the term lesbian did not enter her mind. Read this book and you will understand. The Vampire fans will know this too.
I hope I enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed and never forgot the film; though this was probably due to Ingrids full on performance. Long Live
the Late Ingrid Pitt and long live this little book of horrors. 👻 Enjoy !
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I picked this up after seeing the gothic literature exhibition at the British Library. At this price you cannot really go wrong. The writing style works well for the subject matter being slightly arcane but at times evocative, and it is suitably short - I always find it hard to read full blown novels in this genre due to the fact that they cannot be believable.. I have seen the Hammer House film 'Lust for a Vampire' which 'borrows' heavily from the book which is always a rather strange experience as you vaguely know the plot and the characters in your mind aren't quite as they are written in the book.
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Most people have heard of Stoker and Dracula but very few have come across his Irish literary counterpart: Le Fanu and his novel Carmilla. Yet this is odd because Carmilla is (arguably) better written than Dracula and Stoker was definitely aware of Le Fanu's work. Indeed, some have even speculated that Stoker gained inspiration from Carmilla when he was writing Dracula. For those of you who enjoy gothic and horror fiction and are interested in vampires, then I really do recommend this novel. It predates Dracula and is told by Laura who is not a very reliable narrator and how she comes to be seduced by Carmilla - although it's all very ambiguous. For me this ambiguity makes it all the more poignant because it leaves open the possibility that Laura is not as horrified as she claims and may even desire Carmilla. Considering this novel was published in the 1880s the latent suggestion of lesbianism would have been quite controversial and, in my opinion, more people should read it. In terms of this particular edition, it has a very good introduction which discusses the literary transformation of the vampire figure during the 19th century in relation to Carmilla. References in the actual novel that a modern reader may not understand are explained in foot notes at the back of the book, and so the reader can look them up if they want to. However, if readers prefer not to do this, they foot notes do not intrude on the text. I would therefore recommend it to students and general readers alike.
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