KARNSTEIN ARMLETS

“You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever.”

Definition/Summary:

Countess Karnstein

Literature

Carmilla

  • A classic Victorian vampire novella, which influenced Bram Stoker’s later treatment of the vampire mythos in Dracula
  • When a shipment of restored heirloom paintings arrives, Laura finds a portrait of her ancestor, Mircalla, Countess Karnstein, dated 1698. The portrait resembles Carmilla exactly and Carmilla confesses she might be a descendant from the Karnsteins even though the family died out centuries before
  • Nightmares plague Laura at night
  • In one dream a large cat-like beast bites her on the chest, it then takes the form of a female figure and disappears through the door without opening it
  • In another Carmilla is standing at the foot of her bed, covered in blood

Flavor text

“You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever.” chapter 4

  • “Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration. It was like the ardour of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet overpowering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips travelled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, “You are mine, you shall be mine, and you and I are one for ever”. (Carmilla, Chapter 4).
  • Carmilla, the title character, is the original prototype for a legion of female and lesbian vampires
  • The main dynamic between Carmilla and the narrator of the story which at the time was very controversial and this is what led to a severe metaphysical consequence for them in the story

Expanded info:

Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 – 1873)

  • Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels
  • Leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era
  • Three best-known works are Uncle Silas, Carmilla and The House by the Churchyard

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