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Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

(1814 - 1873)

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer acclaimed for pioneering the psychological horror genre. His tales of mystery and the supernatural, such as "Carmilla" and "Uncle Silas," reflected the Victorian fascination with the gothic and were instrumental in shaping the genre's evolution. Le Fanu's nuanced approach to fear, favouring subtle dread over graphic scares, has earned him the title of "The Invisible Prince" of horror literature.

Born into a literary family in Dublin, Le Fanu developed an early interest in ghost stories and folklore. He initially studied law, but his passion for writing soon took precedence. He extended his reach in literature by becoming the proprietor of several newspapers, including the Dublin University Magazine, through which he published much of his work.

His storytelling, characterised by slowly building suspense and a masterful use of setting to evoke unease, has influenced countless authors, including M.R. James and Bram Stoker. Despite being less well-known to the general public than contemporaries like Charles Dickens, Le Fanu's ghostly tales and his innovative use of the supernatural in the context of everyday life continue to resonate with audiences today, securing his place as a seminal figure in the horror domain.

Short Stories member since November 2023