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Complete Ghost Stories by M. R. James
  

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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 his stories are there for a reason. Many of his heroes are dry and staid academics. Many of the stories have a strong ecclesiastical background. These are, in many ways, stories of their time. But. James’ subtle and stealthy ability to lift a chill off the page and slide it down your back without ever fully revealing the full supernatural hand that put it there is positively modern.

These stories are perennial favourites and continuing sources for full adaptation and sly liftings in film and TV for a reason (if the demon crawling from the TV in The Ring isn’t a straight homage to The Mezzotint I’m the proverbial Dutchman). James knows that scares that work slowly are more profound than quick shocks. He knows that true horror is best left hinted at. And he knows how to set a scene. There is a strand of landscape writing here that makes these stories part of how we think of England (and the Suffolk and Norfolk coastal regions in particular). Fans of Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent as well as fans of the ghost story genre will be scared by these stories for a long, long time. ~ Simon Spanton

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

Synopsis

Complete Ghost Stories by M. R. James

The art of telling a ghost story is a refined one, and Montague Rhodes James was a master of the genre. He draws the reader into a narrative that at first seems innocuous, but which becomes darker and darker by gentle turns until he transfixes you with his prose, creating the most unforgettable, alarming and frightening images. Complete Ghost Stories by M. R. James contains all his timeless masterpieces from the four collections of his eerie tales: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1911), A Thin Ghost and Others (1919), and A Warning to the Curious and Other Ghost Stories (1925). This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition features an afterword by author and playwright David Stuart Davies. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.

About the 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.

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Book Info

Publication date

26th January 2017

Author

M. R. James

More books by M. R. James
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

mrjames.org

Publisher

Macmillan Collector's Library an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Format

Hardback
592 pages
Interest Age: From 18

Categories

Horror
eBook Favourites

Horror & ghost stories
Classic fiction (pre c 1945)

ISBN

9781509827725

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