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Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James

Collected Ghost Stories

Part of the Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural Series
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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 on!

June 2010 Guest Editor Patrick Gale on M. R. James...

James didn’t invent the ghost story but he certainly perfected it. With their dry tone and fussily academic narrators, his tales of ghosts and demons in everything from a hotel room to a picture and even a whistle build a convincing sense of evil from what is left unsaid or unexplained. If the mutilated ghost children in Lost Hearts don’t lead to you drawing your curtains more firmly, you have no imagination…

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


Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James

M.R. James is probably the finest ghost-story writer England has ever produced. These tales are not only classics of their genre, but are also superb examples of beautifully-paced understatement, convincing background and chilling terror. As well as the preface, there is a fascinating tail-piece by M.R. James, 'Stories I Have Tried To Write', which accompanies these thirty tales. Among them are 'Casting the Runes', 'Oh, Whistle and I'll come to you, My Lad', 'The Tractate Middoth', 'The Ash Tree' and 'Canon Alberic's Scrapbook'.


'There are some authors one wishes one had never read in order to have the joy of reading them for the first time. For me, M.R. James is one of these.' - Ruth Rendall

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

10th July 2007


M. R. James

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Wordsworth Editions Ltd


368 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Horror & ghost stories
Short stories



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