A young woman living at her father's castle is the narrator of this novella. When a mysterious and beautiful stranger is stranded at the castle in odd circumstances and becomes a guest, the heroine quickly forms a close bond with her - but she subsequently discovers that her "friend" has a dark and lethal secret.
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 is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu first published in 1872. It tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla. Carmilla predates Bram Stoker's Dracula by 25 years. Although Carmilla is a lesser known and far shorter Gothic vampire story than the generally-considered master work of that genre, Dracula, the latter is heavily influenced by Le Fanu's short story.