Carmilla (novella)

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Name: Carmilla
Creator: Sheridan Le Fanu
Date(s): 18711872
Medium: Novella
Country of Origin: Ireland
External Links: at Wikipedia, at Wikisource
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Carmilla is an 1872 Gothic novella by Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu and one of the early works of vampire fiction, predating Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) by 26 years. First published as a serialization in the literary magazine The Dark Blue,[note 1] in late 1871 and early 1872,[1][2][3] was reprinted in le Fanu's short-story collection In a Glass Darkly (1872).[note 2]

The story is narrated by a young woman preyed upon by a female vampire named Carmilla, later revealed to be Mircalla, Countess Karnstein (Carmilla is an anagram of Mircalla). The character is a prototypical example of the lesbian vampire, expressing romantic desires toward the protagonist. The novella notably never acknowledges homosexuality as an antagonistic trait, leaving it subtle and morally ambiguous.

The story is often anthologized, and has been adapted many times in film and other media. See Carmilla (web series).


This article or section needs expansion.

The novella has a small fanfiction fandom, with 500+ fanworks on AO3 and 700+ fanfics on as of 2023.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fannish Resources


  1. ^ The Dark Blue published essays, stories, poems, and illustrations. The literary magazine was founded and edited by John Christian Freund, London-based published monthly from 1871 to 1873 and sold for one shilling per issue.

    The Dark Blue - Collection Introduction, and The Dark Blue, Hathi Trust Digital Library

  2. ^ In a Glass Darkly is a collection of five stories by Sheridan Le Fanu, first published in 1872, the year before his death. The title is taken from 1 Corinthians 13:12, a deliberate misquotation of the passage which describes humanity as perceiving the world "through a glass darkly". See more information on Wikipedia.


  1. ^ Le Fanu, Sheridan (1871–72). "Carmilla". The Dark Blue. 2 (September 1871 to February 1872): 434–448, 592–606, 701–714.
  2. ^ Le Fanu, Sheridan (1872). "Carmilla". The Dark Blue. 3 (March): 59–78.
  3. ^ The story ran in one issue of 1871 (December, pp. 434–448) and in three issues of 1872 (January, pp. 592–606; February, pp. 701–714; and March, pp. 59–78).