In Uncle Silas, Sheridan Le Fanu's most celebrated novel, Maud Ruthyn, the young, naïve heroine, is plagued by Madame de la Rougierre from the moment the enigmatic older woman is hired as her governess. A liar, bully, and spy, when Madame leaves the house, she takes her dark secret with her. But when Maud is orphaned, she is sent to live with her Uncle Silas, her father's mysterious brother and a man with a scandalous - even murderous - past. And, once again, she encounters Madame, whose sinister role in Maud's destiny becomes all too clear.
With its subversion of reality and illusion, and its exploration of fear through the use of mystery and the supernatural, Uncle Silas shuns the conventions of traditional horror and delivers a chilling psychological thriller.
Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (1814–1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the premier ghost story writer of the nineteenth century and had a seminal influence on the development of this genre in the Victorian era.