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M. R. James Book and Novel

M. R. James - Author


Montague Rhodes James, the son of a Kent curate, was born near Bury St Edmunds in 1862. He became an avid reader at a very early age, taking a special interest in antiquarian books. At the age of six he fell ill with bronchitis. While recovering, he asked to see a rare 17th century Dutch bible that belonged to Bishop Ryle, a friend of his father’s. James studied it intently. It was the beginning of a career that would take him eventually to Eton and Cambridge. At King’s College, Cambridge he became assistant in classical archaeology at the Fitzwilliam museum. His dissertation on The Apocalypse of St Peter won him both election as a Fellow of King’s and a position lecturing in divinity. His interests diversified, and by the time he was made Dean of the college in 1889, he was widely regarded as an authority on medievalism. During this period, James was a prolific writer on a wide range of academic subjects. His academic career led him to be provost of King’s College in 1905, and later vice-chancellor of the University.

But for all his academic achievements, he is best remembered for his masterly ghost stories. There are approximately forty supernatural tales (some incomplete). His first collection, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), was followed by More Ghost Stories (1911), A Thin Ghost and Others (1919), A Warning to the Curious (1925) and The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James (1931). Apart from the ghost stories, his output of medieval scholarship was phenomenal. He catalogued many of the manuscript libraries of the Cambridge and Oxford colleges. Among his other scholarly works, he wrote The Apocalypse in Art, which placed illuminated Apocalypse manuscripts into families. He also translated the New Testament Apocrypha.

If you like M. R. James you might also like to read books by Andrew Michael Hurley and Peter James.

Featured Books, with extracts, by M. R. James

Complete Ghost Stories by M. R. James
Complete Ghost Stories
M. R. James
What is there to say about M.R. James, the effective father of the modern ghost story , that hasn’t been said already? What might entice the curious? Well, first it should be admitted that some of the dustier clichés about...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/01/2017
Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James
Collected Ghost Stories
M. R. James
A fine collection of gripping, gory and chilling stories many of which lay the foundation for several modern day films. If you want a good spook then here is some good bed time reading, although maybe sleep with the light...
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/07/2007

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Author Info

Author's Website

mrjames.org

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