Home Information Contents Search Links

LeFanu, Joseph Sheriden.

Each change of many-colored life he drew,
Exhausted worlds and then imagined new.
SAMUEL JOHNSON, Prologue on the Opening
of the Drury Lane Theatre,
London, 1747

Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Irish novelist, was born in Dublin, August 28, 1814, the son of the Rev. J. P. LeFanu, Dean of Emby, and grand-nephew of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. He was privately educated until 1833, when he entered Trinity College, Dublin. After graduation in 1837 he joined the staff of the Dublin University Magazine, and in 1872 became its proprietor. He was admitted to the bar in 1839 but never practiced. In the same year he bought the Warden and the Evening Packet and consolidated them with the Dublin Evening Mail, of which he was part owner, and he continued as owner and editor until his death. In 1844 he was married to Susan Bennett, who died in 1858. He began to write verses as a child, but it was not until 1863, when "The House by the Church-Yard" appeared, that he took seriously to literature. "Uncle Silas" was published in 1864, and numerous novels, mostly dealing with the supernatural, rapidly followed. Some of his books were illustrated by Hablot K. Browne. He died in Dublin, February 7, 1873.

REFERENCES: Allibone, Supplement, II; S. M. Ellis, Willys Collins, LeFanu and Others; Edna Kenton, "A Forgotten Creator of Ghosts, Joseph Sheridan LcFanu," Bookman (N. Y.), LXIX, 1929, 528-34; Montague Summers, "Joseph Sheridan LeFanu and his Houses," Architectural Design and Construction, May, 1932; Ibid., Introduction to Victorian Ghost Stories, London, 1934, xxxiv-xxxvi.

Fireside Library. Double No. 17-18
Waverley Library (quarto). No. 75†:

† "The Black Lady of Duna" is listed in no bibliography of LeFanu's writings. Frederick B. Shroyer, who first thought this might be an error for William Hamilton Maxwell's "The Dark Lady of Doona," later found that the two stories were entirely different.

† Correction made as per Volume 3.

   Go BACK to where you came from