Carmilla

by

Sheridan Le Fanu

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Bertha Rheinfeldt Character Analysis

The General’s niece, who develops a brief infatuation with Carmilla after they meet at a masquerade. She is bitten and killed by the vampire before the events of the main text, which makes her unable to come and stay with Laura and her father as she was meant to. Although Laura never meets Bertha, Laura is greatly upset by her death and saddened that she will not visit them at the schloss, believing that they would have become friends.

Bertha Rheinfeldt Quotes in Carmilla

The Carmilla quotes below are all either spoken by Bertha Rheinfeldt or refer to Bertha Rheinfeldt. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Wildside Press edition of Carmilla published in 2000.
Chapter 2  Quotes

“Before then I had no idea of her danger. I have lost her, and now learn all, too late. She died in the peace of innocence, and in the glorious hope of a blessed futurity. The fiend who betrayed our infatuated hospitality has done it all. I thought I was receiving into my house gaiety, a charming companion for my lost Bertha. Heavens! what a fool have I been!”

Related Characters: General Spielsdorf (speaker), Bertha Rheinfeldt
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

“At another time I should have told her to wait a little, until, at least, we knew who they were. But I had not a moment to think in. The two ladies assailed me together, and I must confess the refined and beautiful face of the young lady, about which there was something extremely engaging, as well as the elegance and fire of high birth, determined me; and, quite over-powered, I submitted, and undertook, too easily, the care of the young lady, whom her mother called Millarca.”

Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bertha Rheinfeldt Character Timeline in Carmilla

The timeline below shows where the character Bertha Rheinfeldt appears in Carmilla. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
...be coming to visit them as planned. Spielsdorf was meant to come with his niece Bertha, a girl Laura’s age whom Laura had never met, and Laura is immensely disappointed, as... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...won’t be arriving for another two months, and that he is glad she never met Bertha because Bertha has died. Laura is shocked by the news, as she knew Bertha was... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...the girl stay with them, since she longs for a companion after the loss of Bertha. Laura’s father offers to take the girl, promising that they will treat her with the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...begins to tell Laura, her father, and Madame Perrodon about the death of his niece Bertha. Laura’s father asks him to recount the story of her death, and he agrees, although... (full context)
Love and Lust Theme Icon
The General begins to tear up about the death of Bertha, for whom he cared as if she were his own child, himself having no children... (full context)
Chapter 11
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
...extravagant, with fireworks and fine music. The General was the only non-aristocrat present, along with Bertha, who wore no mask. She caught the attention of a young masked woman who was... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
...Meanwhile, the younger girl, to whom her mother referred as Millarca, started up conversation with Bertha. She complimented Bertha, commenting on her beauty and mocking the others present. Eventually she removed... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
...woman’s identity and how she remembered him. He was about to join in conversation with Bertha and the woman’s daughter when her mother returned. (full context)
Chapter 12
Love and Lust Theme Icon
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
...the meantime, she asked that her daughter be allowed to stay with the General and Bertha as she was still weak from a hunting accident. Meanwhile, she said she must undertake... (full context)
Love and Lust Theme Icon
...them with stories of the other guests. The party lasted until the morning, and as Bertha and the General walked through the room they noticed that Millarca had disappeared. He searched... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
He kept searching until the afternoon. Around two o’ clock a servant told Bertha that she had been summoned by a young lady who was searching for her and... (full context)
Chapter 13
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
At the same time, Bertha began to grow ill and weak. She experienced frightening dreams, followed by hallucinations of both... (full context)
Chapter 14
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The General says that Bertha grew more ill, and the doctor was unable to figure out what was wrong with... (full context)
Love and Lust Theme Icon
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...doctor's words, but his desperation persuaded him to take it seriously. The letter claimed that Bertha was being visited and attacked by a vampire. He was skeptical of the existence of... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
That night, he hid himself in Bertha’s dressing room as she fell asleep. Around one in the morning, he witnessed a large... (full context)