Happy 200th Birthday to Sheridan Le Fanu (who in my youthful ignorance, I always thought was French….thankfully, an Irishman dutifully corrected me). Before the tawdry ‘True Blood’ and the bosom-heaving bloodsuckers of Hammer Horror films, there was Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’, the first lesbian vampire to grace the Gothic. ‘Green Tea’ is a hallucinatory classic, and paired up with ‘Murders at the Rue Morgue’ one can’t help but look differently at our fellow primates. And you can’t beat ‘Uncle Silas’ for a prime lesson in Gothic fiction.
It’s quite amazing how the duo of Le Fanu and Bram Stoker gave life to the vampire tale. Add in Oscar Wilde, Charles Maturin (of ‘Melmoth the Wanderer’ fame) and short story writer, Fitz James O’Brien, and it’s quite impressive on how the Irish helped set the stones of Horror Literature as we know it today.