Collected Ghost Stories
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- Oxford University Press
- 2017 ISBN 9780198797364
- 512 pages
- Hardcover, with cloth-binding
- 22.5 × 14.5 × 4.2 cm
‚I was conscious of a most horrible smell of mould, and of a cold kind of face pressed against my own…‘
Considered by many to be the most terrifying writer in English, M. R. James was an eminent scholar who spent his entire adult life in the academic surroundings of Eton and Cambridge. His classic supernatural tales draw on the terrors of the everyday, in which documents and objects unleash terrible forces, often in closed rooms and night-time settings where imagination runs riot. Lonely country houses, remote inns, ancient churches or the manuscript collections of great libraries provide settings for unbearable menace, from creatures seeking retribution and harm. These stories have lost none of their power to unsettle and disturb.
This edition presents all of James’s published ghost stories, including the unforgettable ‚Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad‘ and ‚Casting the Runes‘, and an appendix of James’s writings on the ghost story. Darryl Jones’s introduction and notes provide a fascinating insight into James’s background and his mastery of the genre he made his own.
The only one-volume edition to include all the published stories included in M. R. James’s 1931 Collected Ghost Stories, plus three uncollected tales. Includes a lively introduction that explores James’s conservative, donnish background and the character traits that contributed to the extraordinary power of his closely focused tales, whose terrifying narratives are discussed. The most accurate and comprehensive annotations to James’s stories elucidate his antiquarian, classical, and literary references as well as providing interesting publishing history details. An Appendix reprints the prefaces and introductions to James’s individual story collections together with three short articles by James about the ghost story, which present the fullest first-hand account of his approach to the genre. With an up-to-date bibliography and chronology.