Joseph Sheridan le Fanu (1814 to 1873, Dublin) is one of if not the greatest all time writers of horror and Gothic short stories and is the creator of Carmilla, cohost for The Irish Quarter: A Celebration of the Irish Short Story. I first discovered him during Irish Quarter One in 2011 and have since then read several other works by Le Fanu (there is some additional background information on him in my prior posts). The Evil Guest shows his total mastery at creating an atmosphere of impending doom.
|"Daddy, welcome back!- Carmilla
The pleasure in this marvelous work, for me anyway, was in the great atmosphere created by the author and his marvelous prose. It was fun trying to second guess what really happened and the ending was very interesting and nicely tied in with the history of the time.
If someone wanted to read just one work by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu I would, based on my limited reading, suggest you start with his novella Carmilla or if you prefer to read a short story I liked his "The Child Stolen by Fairies", a very dark story directly related to the famine years.
I will soon be reading his famous Gothic novel, Uncle Silas and I plan to read more of his short stories, perhaps starting with his collection, The Purcell Papers, which is said to contain some of his very best horror and ghost stories.
The work of Joseph Sheridan le Fanu is great fun to read, not something to force yourself through for a class or for background reading.
You can download a lot of the work of the author from Manybooks, among other places.
Please share your experiences with Irish Gothic, ghost and horror stories with us.