Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampires and Ireland’s invited invasion
in Open Graves, Open Minds
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In general, critical readings of the Irish vampire have, firstly, focused primarily on Stoker's Dracula and offered a more scant treatment of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu. Secondly, they have limited their reading of the vampire's Irishness to the racial, political and national discourses of nineteenth-century Ireland. This chapter concentrates on two of vampires of Le Fanu's vampires ('The Mysterious Lodger' and 'Carmilla'). It argues that they enact not only a spatial invasion but a temporal one that brings Ireland's medieval history to bear on Le Fanu's nineteenth-century texts. The analysis attends to the resonances among these works and Ireland's medieval history, reading that history as available for continual resurrection. The chapter argues that the attraction between Irish writers and vampire narratives lies in the striking correspondences between the twelfth-century colonial origin story of Ireland's relationship with England and the key structural elements of vampire narratives.

Open Graves, Open Minds

Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day

Editors: Sam George and Bill Hughes


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