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Collected Ghost Stories [Hardcover]

M. R. James , Darryl Jones
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 Oct 2011
Considered by many to be the most terrifying writer in English, M. R. James is an unlikely producer of ghost-stories. An eminent scholar who spent his entire adult life in the academic surroundings of Eton and Cambridge, his classic supernatural tales have lost none of their power to unsettle and disturb. They 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. Stories that were first read aloud in James's study late on Christmas Eve have the power to haunt us still.

This book 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.

Frequently Bought Together

Collected Ghost Stories + Ghost Stories of M R James (Wordsworth Mystery & Supernatural) (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) + Night Terrors: The Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural)
Price For All Three: 20.37

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (13 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199568847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199568840
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


first-rate introduction (Ferdinand Mount, London Review of Books)

Atmospheric, spare and dangerous: these are classics of a master. (Daily Echo)

The definitive edition of James's stories... a treasure trove for every horror lover. (Politico)

For those who like their flesh to creep, there is an inimitable cumulative pleasure in reading these stories (Daily Telegraph)

This collection is perfect both for longstanding M R James fans or those new to his chilling tales. (The Oldie)

An outstanding new edition... exemplary. (Boyd Tonkin, The Independent)

About the Author

Darryl Jones's other publications include Horror: A Thematic History in Fiction and Film (London: Arnold; New York: OUP, 2002).

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A teaser for "A Pleasing Terror"? 12 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are classics that deserve no separate review apart from mere stating of the fact that these stories have been shaping the contours of horror fiction for the past century, and since 1931 (when these stories were brought out together, except 3 stories that were later collected) they have remained continuously in-print. However, this book was special in the sense that the stories often mention certain details that require gentle ministrations in the shape of annotations & explanations for Latin-challenged readers like us (who must be 99.9% of the total readers), and this book does it to some extent. Of course, its comparison with the gold-standard of annotated editions set by "A Pleasing Terror" published by the Ash Tree Press would be made, and the book would be found short on many grounds (esp. in terms of non-inclusion of certain non-fiction written by MRJ himself that have immense relevance in understanding the stories themselves) rather inevitably. Nevertheless, it is very reasonably priced, and deserves to be appreciated, esp. since the Penguin volumes (edited by S.T Joshi) are ridiculously overpriced, and since the Ash Tree Press is not coming out with their long-awaited 2nd edition of "A Pleasing Terror" (in 2 volumes!) any time soon. Recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master 5 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936) better known simply as M R James, was a noted British medieval scholar. He also served as provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905-1918) and of Eton College (1918-1936). He is best remembered, however, for his ghost stories which are widely regarded, by myself included, as among the finest in English literature.

There is nothing quite like lying in bed on a dark winters night and dipping into a tale of supernatural terrors. Of course, subsequently getting to sleep might be another matter!

The complete list of stories is:

Canon Alberic's Scrapbook
Lost Hearts
The Mezzotint
The Ash Tree
Number 13
Count Magnus
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
Martin's Close
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
Two Doctors
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
Wailing Well
The Experiment
The Malice of Inanimate Objects
A Vignette

Also of interest may be Tales of Unease, a collection of spooky stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft. Well worth a read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware of meddling with supernatural forces! 1 Nov 2011
The tradition on Christmas Eve in King's College, Cambridge, a century ago was for the provost to read out one of his handwritten ghost stories to a select group of friends and colleagues. The provost was Montague Rhodes James, one of the most distinguished scholars of his day, and the unlikely author of some of the most terrifying ghost stories in English literature, usually set in some deserted country house or remote village inn where ill-advised meddling unleashes supernatural forces intent on dire retribution. These tales, first read aloud in that candle-lit Cambridge study, have lost none of their power to unsettle and disturb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Written or Spoken, Horror Classics 12 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a big fan of M R James' ghost stories I was glad to be finally able to obtain this good quality modern hardback edition, with an informative and interesting introduction (my well thumbed old paperback was on its last legs).

Probably the greatest ghost story writer ever, as correctly evidenced by the reviews on here.
I would only add, and thoroughly recommend, these two excellent audio CDs read with subtlety and believability by David Collings: The Complete Ghost Stories of M. R. James - Volume 1The Complete Ghost Stories of M. R. James - Volume 2 (Craftsman Audio)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection! 4 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent collection of some of James' best known works. Print quality is excellent, and I was unable to find a more comprehensive volume anywhere else. Recommended for all and any M.R James lovers.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Ghostly Read 2 Nov 2011
A wonderful book by the master of the ghost story. Superbly written and constructed, intelligent, stories, that chill and scare and disturb and challenge thinking. And all in a great new edition. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ghost Writer 27 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having seen a number of television adaptations of MR James Ghost Stories, I decided to buy the book.....Great reading but spooked myself something chronic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Master 12 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this to add to my existing collection of MR James. It is an excellent scholarly edition, with wonderful footnotes and good texts of the stories. But it is the stories themselves - in any edition - which are the dark and sinister gems at the heart of the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, compact and atmospheric stories for bedtime
Wonderful bedtime reading. Each short story is nicely short, but rich in atmosphere and early twentieth century rural English feel. Trouble is, they're all read too soon.
Published 5 months ago by Chris Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars GHOST STORIES
The short stories were good and not too long, got well into it, would recommend if you like ghost stories
Published 8 months ago by Jen Mann
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterfully told
Set from around the 1880s to 1early 20th century, these ghost stories are more subtle in the horror and more polished in the scene set, and the detective work involved in solving... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gary Selikow
4.0 out of 5 stars Stories with a difference
Because of the time in which the stories were written, the reading of them can be a little slow feeling at times, although it is pleasant to have perfect grammar. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Chilady
4.0 out of 5 stars A good replacement
I wanted a hardback copy to give to a friend.
As the Edward Arnold (original publisher) edition is not available currently, this seemed an ideal substitution. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Michael Sellers
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghostly treasures of yesteryear.
Very enjoyable book, that includes all MR James's ghost stories. A joy to have in any book collection. Read more
Published 13 months ago by The B Kenzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy but not really scary
I like to read a good ghost story at Christmas; it somehow seems to fit the season. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection; mostly Victorian stories; often in an academic or... Read more
Published 18 months ago by DOMINIC
4.0 out of 5 stars Best read out loud
I bought this after going to a reading of the stories at Christmas. They were very spooky, and lingered in my mind. Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2011 by Amazon Customer
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