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Profile of the Day: Sheridan Le Fanu

On this day in 1814, Irish horror writer Sheridan Le Fanu was born. Considered to be the leading ghost story writer of the 19th century, Le Fanu’s works played a significant role in shaping the genre during the Victorian era.

Profile of the Day: Sheridan Le Fanu

Image: Sheridan Le Fanu / Wikimedia Commons

Le Fanu was born Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu on August 28, 1814 in Dublin, Ireland. He was born into a literary family with many writers and playwrights, including his great uncle, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who is buried in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.

After abandoning his law studies, Le Fanu turned to journalism and began writing ghost stories for the Dublin University Magazine. In 1880, he published The Purcell Papers, a collection of his Gothic and horror stories in three volumes. He would publish several more novels, including Uncle Silas, The House by the Churchyard, and Carmilla. His work would go on to influence several writers, including Dracula author Bram Stoker.

Le Fanu died on February 7, 1873 at the age of 58.

Explore Sheridan Le Fanu’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the Irish writer.

View Sheridan Le Fanu’s Geni Profile


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