J. Sheridan Le Fanu

In a Glass Darkly

A collection of five of Le Fanu’s short stories, including his most notable work “Carmilla,” presented as cases of the occult detective Dr. Martin Hesselius.

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In a Glass Darkly is a collection of five short stories, presented as posthumous papers of cases of the “metaphysical” doctor Dr. Martin Hesselius. First appearing in “Green Tea,” originally published in 1869, Dr. Hesselius became one of the first literary occult detectives.

J. Sheridan Le Fanu often made revisions to his work and re-released several under new names, including two from In a Glass Darkly: “The Familiar,” a revised version of “The Watcher,” published in 1851, and “Mr. Justice Harbottle,” a revised version of “An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street,” published in 1853.

Most notably, this collection includes what is likely Sheridan Le Fanu’s most famous work, “Carmilla.” A young countess turned vampire, Countess Mircalla uses the anagram of her name, Carmilla, to disguise herself in order to prey on unsuspecting young women. “Carmilla” would heavily influence Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which would later become the prototypical vampire archetype.