Carmilla: The Story of a Young Woman's Susceptibility to the Attentions of a Female Vampire Named Carmilla (Beloved Books Edition)
Carmilla, the title character, is the original prototype for a legion of female and lesbian vampires. Though Le Fanu portrays his vampire's sexuality with the circumspection that one would expect for his time, it is evident that lesbian attraction is the main dynamic between Carmilla and the narrator of the story. Carmilla selected exclusively female victims, though only became emotionally involved with a few. Carmilla had nocturnal habits, but was not confined to the darkness. She had unearthly beauty and was able to change her form and to pass through solid walls. Her animal alter ego was a monstrous black cat, not a large dog as in Dracula. She did, however, sleep in a coffin. Some critics, among them William Veeder, suggest that Carmilla, notably in its outlandish use of narrative frames, was an important influence on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw.
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