Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

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by M. R. James
     
 

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Malignant forces and supernatural visitors haunt this selection of superbly spooky tales

 

M. R. James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernize a genre. James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognizable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then

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Overview

Malignant forces and supernatural visitors haunt this selection of superbly spooky tales

 

M. R. James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernize a genre. James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognizable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying. Sheets, pictures, carvings, a doll's house, a lonely beach, a branch tapping on a window—ordinary things take on more than a tinge of dread in the hands of the original master of suspense. James's prescription for his ghost stories was to "let the ominous thing put out its head, unobtrusively at first, and then more insistently, until it holds the stage."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A gnawing sense of unease, a steady accumulation of sounds, shadows and images finally meet in a single moment of sensational physical horror."
Daily Telegraph

"In M. R. James' stories, the ordinary tips over into an alternative existence that is just as believable."
Guardian

"M. R. James is quite simply the finest writer of ghost stories ever. They're always set in an academic context, about university chaps who find out very nasty things while they're researching. They uncork the wrong bottle, unearth the wrong papers, dig up the wrong place... James was provost of Eton and a fellow of Kings College, and the stories have this wonderful candlelit, academic atmosphere, surrounded by incredible nastiness. Tweedy, but unpleasant."
— Christopher Frayling

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780099560562
Publisher:
Random House UK
Publication date:
10/15/2011
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,138,996
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

MONTAGUE RHODES JAMES was born on August 1, 1862 near Bury St Edmunds, though he spent long periods of his later life in Suffolk, which provided the setting for many of his ghost stories. He studied at Eton and Kings College, Cambridge, where he was eventually elected Fellow, and then made Provost in 1905. In 1918 he became Provost of Eton. He was a renowned medievalist and biblical scholar, and published works on palaeography, antiquarianism, bibliography and history, guides to Suffolk and Norfolk, as well as editing a collection of ghost stories by Sheridan Le Fanu. However, he remains best known for his own ghost stories, which were published in several collections including
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), A Thin Ghost and Other Stories (1919), A Warning to the Curious (1925) and a collected edition in 1931. M. R. James never married and died on June 12, 1936.

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