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SHERIDAN LE FANU

1814-1873
Irish

"There is no dealing with great sorrow as
if it were under the control of our wills"

Irish novelist and short story writer - often called the father of the modern ghost story.

Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was born in Dublin. His father was a clergyman. The family moved to Abington, County Limerick, where he became familiar with country life. In 1833 Le Fanu entered Trinity College, where he read law. He graduated in 1837. He was called to the Irish Bar two years later, but he never practised, preferring a career in journalism. He owned or part owned a number of papers, and in 1861 he became the owner of the Dublin University Magazine, in which several of his works appeared. In 1844 he married Susanna Bennett. They had four children, but she died in 1858 causing Le Fanu great depression. He became something of a recluse, writing his stories in bed in the early hours, between midnight and dawn. During the latter years of his life he rarely ventured out into the city.
He died on February 7th, 1873. His work virtually disappeared until 1923, when the scholar and ghost story writer, M.R. James, published a collection of his stories under the title Madam Crowl’s Ghost and Other Tales of Mystery.

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