Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873)
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873)

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873) was an Irish journalist and writer of supernatural Victorian ghost stories. Related to the Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Le Fanu was the son of Huguenot parents Thomas Philip Le Fanu, who was a clergyman, and Emma Lucretia Dobbin Le Fanu.

He studied law but became a journalist and started to write short stories which were first published anonymously. His work combined Gothic horror with inner psychological insight.

After giving birth to four children and suffering with poor mental health, his wife Susanna died. It is thought that Le Fanu blamed himself. He became reclusive, producing his most successful work.

He is probably best known for his novel Uncle Silas in 1864. However, it is the vampire novella Carmilla in 1872 which has had the biggest effect on the horror genre. It is thought that Bram Stoker was greatly influenced by Le Fanu in his writing of Dracula.


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