Dublin’s Invisible Prince
2014 was the bicentenary of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s birth. I am distantly related to J. S. Le Fanu: my great-great-great-grandfather Peter was younger brother of J. S. Le Fanu’s grandfather Joseph (in other words, J. S. Le Fanu’s great-grandfather was my great-great-great-great grandfather (I think!)).
M R James: Le Fanu stands in the absolutely first rank as a writer of ghost stories.
V S Pritchett: Le Fanu’s ghosts are the most disquieting of all ghosts … The secret doubt, the private shame, the unholy love scratch away with malignant patience in the guarded mind.
A number of projects were undertaken, under the guidance of Le Fanu scholar and editor Brian J. Showers of Swan River Press in Dublin, to mark the bicentenary of J. S. Le Fanu’s birth:
The cleaning of the Bennett/Le Fanu vault in Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin, and affixing a plaque to commemorate ‘Dublin’s Invisible Prince’.
The publication of a J. S. Le Fanu tribute anthology of original ghost stories, Dreams of Shadow and Smoke: Stories for J. S. Le Fanu, edited by Jim Rockhill and Brian J. Showers, to which I contributed ‘Alicia Harker’s Story’. See below, and http://www.swanriverpress.ie/title_shadowandsmoke.html
Other contributors include novelist Emma Darwin (whose grandmother was a Le Fanu) and poet Gavin Selerie, author of Le Fanu’s Ghost.