There is no dealing with great sorrow as if it were under the control of our wills
Sheridan Le Fanu
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 - 1873) was an Irish novelist and short story writer. A moderately successful writer during his lifetime, he slipped into obscurity after his death, until the writer M.R. James published a collection of his stories under the title of 'Madam Crowl and Other Tales of Mystery'. The success of the book led to greater popularity for a further collection, 'In a Glass Darkly', and the novels 'The House by the Churchyard' and 'Uncle Silas.
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’s 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.