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Posts Tagged ‘Carmilla (novel)’

After falling in love with Carmilla the webseries, I finally decided to read the original novel by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. I was expecting it would be a lot of labyrinthine Victorian prose or Dracula-esque fear of/male-gaze at women’s sexuality. It’s actually a novella, and the prose, aside from some outdated turns of phrase, is easy to read.

Illustration by Michael Fitzgerald for Le Fanu's story Carmilla in The Dark Blue (January 1872), electrotype after wood-engraving, reproduced in Best Ghost Stories, ed. Bleiler. Source

Illustration by Michael Fitzgerald for Le Fanu’s story Carmilla in The Dark Blue (January 1872), electrotype after wood-engraving, reproduced in Best Ghost Stories, ed. Bleiler. Source [Image: a wood-carving of Carmilla, seated and in dark clothing, holding the hand of Laura, who is standing, as a funeral procession passes.]

I shall begin by describing her. She was slender, and wonderfully graceful. Except that her movements were languid-very languid- indeed, there was nothing in her appearance to indicate an invalid. Her complexion was rich and brilliant; her features were small and beautifully formed; her eyes large, dark, and lustrous; her hair was quite wonderful, I never saw hair so magnificently thick and long when it was down about her shoulders; I have often placed my hands under it, and laughed with wonder at its weight. It was exquisitely fine and soft, and in colour a rich very dark brown, with something of gold. I loved to let it down, tumbling with its own weight, as, in her room, she lay back in her chair talking in her sweet low voice, I used to fold and braid it, and spread it out and play with it. Heavens! If I had but known all! (pp. 57-8, Overdrive ebook)

I’m sure Carm and Laura are just gal-palling it up all over Austria–

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