Carmilla

by

Sheridan Le Fanu

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Carmilla can help.

General Spielsdorf Character Analysis

Bertha Reinfeldt’s devoted uncle and guardian, and a friend of Laura’s father. Though General Spielsdorf once refused to believe in the supernatural and relied wholly on scientific and rational explanation to understand the world, his niece’s illness and subsequent death was diagnosed by a physician as being due to a vampire bite. In his devastation over Bertha’s death at the hands of Carmilla, General Spielsdorf abandons his skepticism of vampires and the supernatural, devoting himself to defeating the monster that killed his beloved niece. General Spielsdorf comes to Laura’s house to convince her father of Carmilla’s true identity, and the three of them travel to Carmilla’s family tomb to see evidence that Carmilla is undead. He aids Laura’s father and enlists the help of Baron Vordenburg to locate Carmilla’s tomb and drive a stake through her heart, successfully enacting his revenge.

General Spielsdorf Quotes in Carmilla

The Carmilla quotes below are all either spoken by General Spielsdorf or refer to General Spielsdorf. 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 10 Quotes

“Because,” he answered testily, “you believe in nothing but what consists with your own prejudices and illusions. I remember when I was like you, but I have learned better.”

Related Characters: General Spielsdorf (speaker), Laura’s Father
Page Number: 73
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:
Get the entire Carmilla LitChart as a printable PDF.
Carmilla PDF

General Spielsdorf Character Timeline in Carmilla

The timeline below shows where the character General Spielsdorf 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
...forest which lies in front of their schloss. On this walk, he informs her that General Spielsdorf will not be coming to visit them as planned. Spielsdorf was meant to come... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Laura’s father tells her that the General won’t be arriving for another two months, and that he is glad she never met... (full context)
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...governesses converse behind them, Laura and her father admire the beautiful scene. Saddened by the General’s news and moved by the evening, Laura’s father quotes Shakespeare to convey his sense of... (full context)
Chapter 9
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...Laura believes it was merely a precaution. Laura’s father returns with a letter from the General Spielsdorf, who will be arriving at the schloss shortly. Laura’s father does not appear happy... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...towards the deserted town and destroyed castle of Karnstein. During their journey, they run into General Spielsdorf, who is riding towards them. They persuade him to join them in their carriage... (full context)
Chapter 10
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The General has changed drastically since Laura has last seen him, about ten months ago. He appears... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The General says he is also traveling to the Ruins of Karnstein to inspect an object that... (full context)
Love and Lust Theme Icon
The General begins to tear up about the death of Bertha, for whom he cared as if... (full context)
Chapter 11
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
The General begins his story. It all started when they were invited to a masquerade by a... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
The two women approached and the older woman spoke to the General. She claimed to know him, referring to memories that the General could only vaguely recall,... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
General Spielsdorf continued to push the girl’s mother, to whom he referred as Madame la Comtesse,... (full context)
Chapter 12
Love and Lust Theme Icon
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
...“Madame la Comtesse” continued to insist that they were older and better friends than the General realized. She claimed she would visit his schloss in three weeks time and reveal herself.... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
The girl’s mother informed her that she would be leaving her in the General’s care. She then instructed him not to try to learn anything more about her or... (full context)
Love and Lust Theme Icon
...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 for her but... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
...she had been summoned by a young lady who was searching for her and the General Spielsdorf. They were relieved to see Millarca, who told them she had fallen asleep in... (full context)
Chapter 13
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The General continues his story. He says that he quickly began to notice some drawbacks of Millarca... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...breast and the piercing of needles. In the present, Laura—who is listening intently to the General’s story—is shocked to hear the similarities between Bertha’s symptoms and her own, as well as... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
The General’s story is interrupted as the carriage approaches the ruined village of Karnstein. The General comments... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
Laura, who has grown fatigued, takes a seat as the General calls for the woodman. The woodman is unable to tell them anything useful, but he... (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... (full context)
Love and Lust Theme Icon
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The General disregarded his advice and read the doctor’s letter on his own. Under any other circumstance... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
...he witnessed a large black object crawl into Bertha’s bed and attack her throat. The General leapt at the creature with his sword, and the creature suddenly transformed into Millarca. He... (full context)
Love and Lust Theme Icon
With the General’s story completed, Laura and her father are unsure of what to say. Her father enters... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...the chapel. Laura rises to greet her but is interrupted by a cry from the General, who rushes at her with a hatchet. Carmilla avoids his attack, catching his wrist and... (full context)
Chapter 15
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
As the General is speaking, a strange-looking man enters the chapel. He is tall and dressed in black,... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
The General thanks the Baron for his help, telling him that he has saved the region from... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
Science, Religion, Nature, and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...day, Carmilla’s grave is opened, accompanied by a medical examiner, and Laura’s father and the General both immediately recognize the girl. Her eyes are open and there is life in her... (full context)
Chapter 16
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
...she knew and sometimes as the monster she saw in the church when Carmilla attacked General Spielsdorf. She is still haunted by the memory of the girl, and often imagines she... (full context)