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September 06 , 2008

Passage in the Secret History of an Irish Countess


This early work by Sheridan Le Fanu was originally published in 1838. Born in Dublin in 1814, he came from a literary family of Huguenot origins; both his grandmother Alicia Sheridan Le Fanu and his great-uncle Richard Brinsley Sheridan were playwrights, and his niece Rhoda Broughton would go on to become a successful novelist. Le Fanu entered Trinity College, Dublin to study law. While there, he was elected Auditor of the College Historical Society, and between 1838 and 1840 published his first series of short stories, which were later collected as The Purcell Papers. At his peak, le Fanu was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century, and he is now seen as central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. His work is credited with turning the Gothic's focus from the external sources of horror to the inward effects of terror, thus helping to create the psychological basis for supernaturalist literature that continues to this day. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900's and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions.

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