Short Fiction in Theory & Practice vol:3 issue:2 pages:161-173
A prolific writer of Gothic shorter fiction, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu published many of his early tales in an Irish periodical. In later life, he also published in both magazine and book form for a British market, where publishers told him to avoid Irish themes. This article discusses the process through which Le Fanu recycled some older ‘Irish’ material into a collection of short stories linked by the imaginary English setting of Golden Friars. Drawing on theoretical links between short story collections and the ‘genre’ of the ‘narrative of community’, the article analyses how Le Fanu set about representing community life while transplanting his material from Irish to English settings, and from magazine to book formats. While the representation of an Irish community would have been ideologically problematic and formally irrelevant for Le Fanu, his portrayal of an English community in Chronicles of Golden Friars (1871) is characterized by stereotypes and parodic exaggerations that betray its origin in the demands of his English publishers.