'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.
M. R. James's classic ghost stories are some of the finest in English, creating menace and terror in lonely country houses and remote inns. This is the only one-volume edition to include all James's published stories, an appendix of James's writings on the ghost story, and a critical introduction and notes.
Darryl Jones's other publications include Horror: A Thematic History in Fiction and Film (London: Arnold; New York: OUP, 2002), Horror Stories: Classic Tales from Hoffmann to Hodgson (OUP, 2014) and, forthcoming for OUP, Arthur Conan Doyle's Gothic Tales.
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