Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (28 August 1814 – 7 February 1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. Three of his best known works are Uncle Silas, Carmilla and The House by the Churchyard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheridan_Le_Fanu
J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Gothic novella Carmilla is a precursor to Dracula by Bram Stoker. Yet it is an important one, and in Carmilla, the narrator Laura is uneasy but powerless under the obsessive attentions of – and potent spell cast by – the title character. Le Fanu ultimately describes the relationship between the two women with a typically Victorian stricture, yet the Sapphic implications cannot be ignored - though the central conflict, like in Dracula, lies in the struggle for possession of a young woman’s immortal soul.