Thank you for your kind words and critique.
Well, the Baron had to go, because he was either a) an irrelevant filler (my personal view) or b) important, which would make him a kind of deus ex machina (your view?). Either way, why grace a character with attention whom even the author himself couldn't bother to introduce before the final chapter. On top of that, his narrative had a very different style and flavour to the rest of Laura's story (and including him would have added at least two more development years ;) ).
Frankly, I think LeFanu is a terrible writer, but, after having read a lot by him (and his contemporaries) and being a Swedenborg-fan myself, I honestly do believe in my interpretation and never felt a need to 'cynically' distort the tale.
Would you mind telling me why you think the Baron's existence runs counter to my understanding. How is he important, beyond his obvious role as representative of a bygone era?
I'm no native English speaker and therefore appreciate your pointing out the distinction between sensual and sensuous. I definitely got the former from an academic context, which doesn't mean I used it appropriately.