"I was conscious of a most horrible smell of mold, 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 nighttime 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' 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' writings on the ghost story. Darryl Jones' introduction and notes provide a fascinating insight into James's background and his mastery of the genre he made his own.
`Review from previous edition an outstanding new edition'
Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
`the definitive edition of James's stories...a treasure trove for every horror lover'
`perfect both for longstanding M. R. James fans or those new to his chilling tales'
`excellently introduced and annotated'
Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
`Wonderfully spooky classic stories released just in time for the drawing in of the evenings.'
`In his introduction to the 2013 Oxford World Classics edition of MR James's Collected Ghost Stories, Darryl Jones cites the story Casting The Runes, in which a Mr Dunning, lying in bed in the dark, gropes for matches under his pillow.'
Teddy Jamieson, Sunday Herald (Glasgow)
Chronology of M. R. James
Canon Alberic's Scrap-book
'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad'
The Treasure of Abbot Thomas
A School Story
The Rose Garden
The Tractate Middoth
Casting the Runes
The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral
Mr Humphreys and His Inheritance
The Residence at Whitminster
The Diary of Mr Poynter
An Episode of Cathedral History
The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance
The Haunted Dolls' House
The Uncommon Prayer-Book
A Neighbour's Landmark
A View from a Hill
A Warning to the Curious
An Evening's Entertainment
There was a Man Dwelt by a Churchyard
After Dark in the Playing Fields
The Malice of Inanimate Objects
Appendix: M. R. James on Ghost Stories