a Le Fanu at 200 - The Swan River Press


Celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of Irish novelist and ghost story writer Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
(28 August 1814 - 7 February 1873).

Marking the bicentenary of Le Fanu's birth, we hope to gather on this page information about any events or publications happening this year. We hope that you will be able to join us in the celebrations.

For those who cannot attend any events, a Facebook page has been set up to promote discussion of Le Fanu's life and works.


If you have an event you'd like listed here, please email gothicdublin@gmail.com


Charles Stewart:
Black and White Gothic

20 December 2014 - 15 February 2015

The Royal Academy of Arts
Tennant Gallery, Burlington House
6 Burlington Gardens
London W1S 3ET

Illustrator Charles Stewart (1915–2001) was haunted by the Victorian novel Uncle Silas (1864) for over 40 years. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s tale of Maud Ruthyn, a naïve heiress in peril, inspired Stewart to produce a set of 30 full-page pen and ink drawings, in the manner of the great graphic artists of the nineteenth century. The novel takes place within the confines of a neglected country house and its grounds. The decay is moral as well as physical, as hints of murder, immorality and the occult hover around the spectral Silas. A fascinating array of influences formed Stewart’s personal vision of Silas, Maud and the house Bartram-Haugh; influences we can identify from his archive, held in the RA Collection. Film stills and theatre designs, proofs and publishing materials from the abortive Bodley Head edition of Uncle Silas (1948) are displayed alongside the decorative binding designs made for the edition finally realised by the Folio Society in 1988.



Reminiscences of a Bachelor
December 2014

By J.S. Le Fanu
With an Introduction by Matthew Holness
Published by Swan River Press

A new book published by the Swan River Press to celebrate the bicentenary: For the first time in over 150 years, "The Watcher", Le Fanu's classic tale of supernatural menace, is reissued from the pages of the Dublin University Magazine along with its original companion piece "The Fatal Bride", a brooding gothic novella not reprinted since its first publication in 1848. Like matched duelling pistols, Reminiscences of a Bachelor offers the most exquisite balance of craftsmanship, beauty, and peril. In these tales of Old Dublin, honour is ever at stake, the fate of lovers lies mired in the past, and something even worse than deceit stalks the streets, something just as deadly to the soul as it is to the flesh.



Bram Stoker Festival
24-27 October 2014

Dublin, Ireland

While there will be no signature event to celebrate Le Fanu's bicentenary, this year's Bram Stoker Festival does include a couple of programme items to honour the Invisible Prince's memory: including the Irish premiere of The Curse of Styria (another film adaptation of "Carmilla") on Friday the 24th, and readings on Sunday the 26th from . . . you guessed it: "Carmilla". One programme item of note is a screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with live soundtrack provided by 3epkano - this will surely be a programme item you won't want to miss!



BYO Stories
23 October 2014

Martcade, 46 Lower Rathmines Road
Dublin, Ireland

A night of readings sponsored by Dublin's independent publishing scene. Of particular interest to those searching for Le Fanu: Brian J. Showers will be reading his ghost story "Some Houses - A Rumination" from the recent anthology Dreams of Shadow and Smoke: Stories for J.S. Le Fanu. Set in Rathmines, this short, spectral tale takes its inspiration from Le Fanu's "An Authentic Narrative of a Haunted House" and explores the very notion of ghostly fiction.


Le Fanu Bicentenary Conference
15-16 October 2014

School of English, Trinity College
Dublin, Ireland
Valeria Cavalli: cavalliv@tcd.ie

On the occasion of the bicentenary of Le Fanu’s birth, this conference intends to bring together established scholars and emerging researchers, in order to shed new light on some of Le Fanu’s less famous fiction and celebrate his influential contribution to the Gothic genre. We are calling for papers on any aspect of the life and work of J. S. Le Fanu. While we welcome new research on Le Fanu’s best known work, we wish to attract papers that engage with those texts which are less frequently read and studied, with the author himself, and with the legacy that he has left.



Launch of The Green Book 4
Wireless Mystery Theatre Presents "Green Tea"

15 October 2014

Toner's Pub (Upstairs), 139 Lower Baggot Street
Dublin, Ireland
6.30pm-Limited availability
Price: 10 euro
Duration: 40 minutes

The Green Book 4 is the second of two issues this year that will feature articles on Le Fanu, essential reading for all fans of Irish gothic, supernatural and fantastic literature! We are also pleased to have Wirelss Mystery Theatre performing their adaptation of Le Fanu's classic ghost story "Green Tea". Performed in the half-light, this eerie tale uses a combination of voice acting, hand-operated sound foley, and live music to recreate the world in the audience's imaginations, bringing out the story-telling power of the words and the human voice. Wireless Mystery Theatre is Northern Ireland's only audio theatre company, specialising in live staged radio plays and broadcast material. For more information, contact gothicdublin@gmail.com



Le Fanu's Ghost
14 October 2014

James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great George’s Street
Dublin, Ireland
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 at 6.00pm

Join poet Gavin Selerie as he reads selections from his book Le Fanu's Ghost, a unique volume that combines poetry with biography, history, and the social history of Dublin. Joining Selerie for this celebration of Le Fanu's life is poet Nerys Williams, who will read selections from her own work. Selerie and Williams will be introduced by Philip Coleman of Trinity College Dublin. Join us for what will certainly be a memorable evening!



First series: “Et In Styria Ego”

10 October 2014 - 23 January 2015

Enoteca trattoria Ostu
via Cristoforo Colombo 63
Turin, Italy
Open to the public
More info: franco.pezzini1@tin.it

For the 200th birth anniversary of Irish author Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873), the Libera Università dell’Immaginario is pleased to announce this initiative of full immersion in Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” – starting with a first series up to chapter 6 (the following one from February 2015). As in previous similar courses organized about Dracula and The Castle of Otranto, it will be an attempt to approach the novel – very known in Italy – as if we read it for the first time – with the sense of newness, the surprise and the wonder of the first readers. The analysis will concern the linguistic and symbolic side, the sources of the text, a short story of its transpositions in cinema, and some postmodern myths about the genesis of the novel – particularly the “Styrian connection” about Barbara von Cilli in history and esotericism. The course in conducted by Franco Pezzini, author of “Cercando Carmilla. La leggenda della donna vampira” (Ananke, 2000) and “Le vampire. Crimini e misfatti delle succhiasangue da Carmilla a Van Helsing” (Castelvecchi, 2005).



Le Fanu Book Display
1 October - 31 October 2014

Trinity College Dublin
Lobby of The Berkeley Lobby
Open to the public

A small selection from Trinity's Early Printed Books department will be put on display in the lobby of the Berkeley Library to coincide with the Le Fanu Bicentenary symposium to be held on 15-16 October. Volumes on display will include volume one of the first edition of Uncle Silas (1864), along with selections from its serialisation in the Dublin University Magazine (July-December 1864), a reprint of The Rose and the Key (1871; Downey, 1898) with Brinsley Le Fanu's illustrations, and an illustrated edition of In a Glass Darkly (1929).



Nunkie Theatre Company Presents "The Familiar"
28 September 2014

The Maypole Pub, Portugal Place
Cambridge, UK
Sunday, 28 September 2014 at 8.00pm
Free Admission
More information: roblloydparry@hotmail.com

Hark! We are set for a Nunkie experiment: an informal, rehearsed reading of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic supernatural tale "The Familiar" in The Maypole Pub, Cambridge on Sunday 28th September at 8pm. There’ll be no entry fee – a Nunkie-hat will be passed around at the end. But I do need a rough idea of how many to expect, so please let me know if you and any friends’d like to be on the guest list. The Maypole are giving me use of the room on condition that people buy drinks from their bar. They are, on the whole, very good drinks. Please let anyone else who might be interested know…



Wireless Mystery Theatre Presents "Green Tea"
30 August 2014

Toner's Pub (Upstairs), 139 Lower Baggot Street
Dublin, Ireland
6.30pm-Limited availability
8.00pm-SOLD OUT
Price: 10 euro
Duration: 30 minutes
Reservations essential: gothicdublin@gmail.com

For the bicentenary of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Wireless Mystery Theatre presents Green Tea. In this classic tale, a country vicar is driven to madness and death by the surreal, but sinister appearance of a demonic monkey. But is the creature a real portent of doom or the side effect of the reverend's new beverage? Performed in the half-light, this eerie tale uses a combination of voice acting, hand-operated sound foley, and live music to recreate the world in the audience's imaginations, bringing out the story-telling power of the words and the human voice. Wireless Mystery Theatre is Northern Ireland's only audio theatre company, specialising in live staged radio plays and broadcast material. They have toured the UK and the Republic of Ireland and their work has been broadcast on BBC Radios 3 & 4, as well as in Canada, Germany, and the United States.



The Life and Works of Le Fanu
29 August 2014

The Ginger Man
39-40 Fenian Street, Dublin 2
Friday, 29 August 2014 at 19.00
Admission 6 euro on the door, limited seating

Please email gothicdublin@gmail.com for reservations

Editor of Le Fanu's collected supernatural stories Jim Rockhill discusses everything from the life of Le Fanu, his childhood in Limerick and his turn as the "Invisible Prince" of Dublin, to the author's key works, including "Carmilla", "Green Tea", and Uncle Silas. Space is extremely limited, so please email for reservations.


Le Fanu's 200th Birthday Celebration
28 August 2014

Alan Hanna’s Bookshop/Bark Coffee
270 Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6
Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 18.30
Admission 5 euro on the door, limited seating

Join us at Alan Hanna's Bookshop in Rathmines to celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Dublin's "Invisible Prince", Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. The evening will include a talk on the "Life and Works of Le Fanu" by scholar Jim Rockhill, the public launch of Dreams of Shadows and Smoke: Stories for J.S. Le Fanu, and of course a slice of green tea cake! The cost is five euro on the door, inclusive of cake and a 20% discount off Dreams of Shadow and Smoke. Space will be limited, so please arrive early!



Le Fanu's Dublin:
A Bicentenary Stroll

28 August 2014

Dublin, Ireland
For details: gothicdublin@gmail.com

Join Le Fanu scholars Jim Rockhill and Brian J. Showers on a memorable memorial walk across Le Fanu's Dublin. Starting at 7.00am on Dominick Street Lower (the exact time and place of Le Fanu's birth 200 years ago), and continuing through the morning and afternoon to places associated with the city's Invisible Prince, including Chapelizod, Merrion Square, and Aungier Street, before finshing at Mount Jerome Cemetery where we will visit Le Fanu's vault and see the newly affixed memorial plaque. To include brief readings, friendly chat, and as many stops for green tea as is necessary to get us through the day. Certain to be a memorable event. All are welcome to join at any point along the adventure. We'll tweet it all too if you can't make it!



Shamrokon, the Dublin Eurocon
Le Fanu Programme Track

22-24 August 2014

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Upper Leeson Street
Dublin 4, Ireland

Marking the 200th birth anniversary of Irish author Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873), Eurocon is pleased to announce a Le Fanu programming track at this year’s convention (Shamrokon) to be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Dublin, Ireland from 22-24 August 2014. The track will feature a number of panels and events hosted by international experts paying tribute to the life and works of Ireland’s master of the macabre. Events will include an illustrated talk by Le Fanu scholar Jim Rockhill, and a dramatic reading of "The Familiar" by Robert Lloyd Parry. Click here to see the full listing.



Book Chat: "Carmilla"
22 May 2014

Accents Coffee Lounge
23 Lower Stephen Street, Dublin 2
Tuesday, 22 May 2014 at 18.15
All welcome, meeting in the basement

The SF&F Book Chat have a meet-up in Dublin every week to chat about Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and other Speculative Fiction books. A new book is discussed each week. No commitment to read all the books is necessary: if you've read that week's book, you can come to just that week's meet-up! New members welcome. This week we'll be chatting about Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's classic vampire story,"Carmilla".



Launch of The Green Book 3/
Free Talk on "Carmilla"

20 May 2014

Alan Hanna’s Bookshop/Bark Coffee
270 Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 18.30
Free Admission, but limited seating

The Green Book 3 is the first of two issues this year that will feature articles on Le Fanu. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jarlath Killeen, lecturer in English Literature at Trinity College Dublin, who will give a talk on Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s seminal horror novella "Carmilla". Among Le Fanu’s last stories, "Carmilla" has had a far-reaching effect on Gothic and vampire literature. From its original serialisation in The Dark Blue (1871-72) to its later inclusion in Le Fanu’s landmark collection In a Glass Darkly (1872); Dr. Killeen will explore the novella’s erotic undertones, its probable influence on Dracula, and its undying popularity into the 21st century. For more information, contact brian@swanriverpress.ie



Carmilla, the Vampire and Us
30 January - 31 October 2014

Graz Museum, Austria

Carmilla, the gothic novel published in 1872 the Irish Sheridan Le Fanu: In Styria . . . so that one of the major vampire narratives of literary history begins. Amidst a spooktacular nature loneliness residents inside of a Styrian castle are haunted by a vampire. 1897 appears Bram Stoker's Dracula, the Transylvania made to the land of the undead, though he was originally located in Styria. Here takes "Carmilla, the vampire and we" in Graz Museum its output. The exhibition sets out on the track after the fascination for the border and revenants that move today than ever between life and death, fear and desire, between dream and reality, and we are closer than through the twilight is recognizable. By the exhibition is devoted to the relation of man to life and death, knowledge, identity, and love, it opens up unusual perspectives on the phenomenon vampire. (from Google Translate)


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