Carmilla (1872) is a novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Published twenty-six years before Bram Stoker's Dracula, Le Fanu's work of Gothic horror and mystery is considered an important early entry in the genre of vampire fiction.
Recorded in the casebook of Dr. Hesselius, a medical professional with a detective's sensibility, is the story of Laura, a teenager bearing a strange secret. Raised in a castle by her father, a widower who recently concluded his career in service to the Austrian Empire, Laura has been haunted since her youth, when she was visited at night by a beautiful, spectral woman. Now eighteen, she awaits the visit of Bertha Rheinfelt, a niece of her father's friend. When Bertha dies mysteriously, however, and when a girl named Carmilla is brought to the castle under strange circumstances, Laura fears that the past has come full circle. But she soon overcomes her mournful state, growing close with Carmilla. But the girl's behavior soon proves unsettling. Carmilla is prone to sleepwalking, sleeps through the day, declines to participate in prayers, and makes romantic overtures to Laura. She begins to be haunted by strange and violent dreams, waking one night to discover Carmilla at the foot of her bed, and bite marks along her neck. Her father intervenes, taking her to a local village. On the way, they meet Bertha's uncle, who shares the chilling details of her fate. It becomes clear that Carmilla, whoever she is, is far from the innocent young girl she claims to be.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla is a classic of Irish literature reimagined for modern readers.