Adaptations Wiki




Coli Arthur H. Nethercot. "Coleridge's 'Christabel' and Lefanu's 'Carmilla'." Modern Philology 47.1 (1949): 32-38. JSTOR. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.

Nethercot was well versed in both “Christabel” and Carmilla. Recapping his original claim to relations between “Christabel” and vampire lore, he newly proposed and defended one to those between Carmilla and “Christabel.” Among some of his most overlapping comparisons, his first parallel was between characters Geraldine and Carmilla, antagonists in the stories. He noted the rarity not only that the antagonists are both women, but that both victims of them are, also. The victims' fathers also play an important role in his comparison of the short stories because in both stories are the vampires incipiently attracted to them. The setting of the castle, furthermore, is so similar between the stories, Nethercot claimed, “that the one might be substituted for the other without making any essential changes necessary” (33). The superstition prominent in the two stories shares common elements, as well, wrote Nethercot. The unreasonable fear of the cross and the lamp by Carmilla’s horses and Geraldine, respectively, is one good example; another, among others, is the ability of the dogs in both stories to sense menace and the unnatural. Nethercot then suggested that Bard Bracy and the mountebank are introduced by both authors to give the reader insights to the happenings of the stories. Of all the resemblances, it seems, that struck Nethercot, that of the relationship between the two pairs of women did so the most. Nethercot claimed and supported that Christabel and Laura are physically similar in appearance, as are Carmilla and Geraldine. Finally, after pointing out that the vampires in both stories act as paradoxes, Nethercot finished his essay writing that LeFanu not only was aware of "Christabel," but knew it well, leaving the reader wondering just what influence LeFanu’s reading “Christabel” had on his creation of Carmilla.

William Veeder. "Carmilla: The Arts of Repression." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 22.2 (1980): 197-223. JSTOR. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.[]

Veeder set the tone for this piece with the assertion that LeFanu was not well known in his day as, say, “Hawthorne, Poe, and Bronte,” and that while those authors “are recognized today as ‘serious’ writers…LeFanu is considered a popular entertainer” (197). Williams' focus in this essay, then, simply put, was to give credit where it was due. With this in mind, he pursued several avenues of analyzing Carmilla, his first being that of human nature. Getting quickly through the duality of human nature represented in the story, Veeder brought the reader to a point that recalled essay’s title: “Carmilla is ultimately a tale of repression” (198). What he meant by this was that the story brings up desires and discontents that cause one to question the moral orthodoxies underlying social conventions (198). Veeder then brought back up the subject of dualism without dropping the one of repression when he acknowledged that “orthodox attitudes toward sexual purity had caused a dangerous split between conscious and unconscious” (198). He said that LeFanu effectively brought those themes together by making his readers “active” (199). He went on to write about LeFanu’s writing techniques, such as exfoliating difficulties, proliferating terms, multiplying identities, revealing multiple layers of meaning, and writing with abrogation (200-01). He also went on to speculate on several more aspects of the story: why Laura is so repressed, some gender roles, the importance of passion, the part played by victimization, and others, finishing with epistemology (200). By the end, Veeder’s lengthy article supported his view of LeFanu as a writer worthy of academic study.