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Complete Ghost Stories (Collector's Library) [Hardcover]

David Stuart Davies , Montague Rhodes James
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2007 Collector's Library
Each volume in the "Collector's Library" series has a specially commissioned Afterword, brief biography of the author and a further reading list. The Afterword for this first collected edition of M. R. James's "Complete Ghost Stories" is by the well-known crime writer and eminent Sherlockian, David Stuart Davies. This is the only complete edition in print and it contains three further stories written after publication of M. R. James's "Collected Ghost Stories": "The Experiment", "The Malice of Inanimate Objects" and "A Vignette".

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Complete Ghost Stories (Collector's Library) + Spinechillers: Tales for Hallowe'en and Other Dark Nights (Collector's Library) + Ghost Stories (Collector's Library)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Collector's Library; New edition edition (1 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905716095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905716098
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 9.9 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Montague Rhodes James was born in 1862 at Goodnestone Parsonage, Kent, where his father was a curate, but the family moved soon afterward to Great Livermere in Suffolk. James attended Eton College and later King's College Cambridge where he won many awards and scholarships. From 1894 to 1908, he was director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and from 1905 to 1918, was Provost of King's College. In 1913, he became vice chancellor of the university for two years. In 1918 he was installed as Provost of Eton. A distinguished medievalist and scholar of international status, James published many works on biblical and historical antiquarian subjects. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1930. His ghost story writing began almost as a divertissement from his academic work and as a form of entertainment for his colleagues. He never married and died in 1936.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master 2 Feb 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Montague Rhodes James (1862 - 1936) better known simply as M R James, was a noted British medieval scholar and 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.

His works are chilling and frightening but without being gory.

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
Wailing Well
There was a Man Dwelt by a Churchyard
Rats
After Dark in the Playing Fields
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. Well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master 26 Dec 2013
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Over the years I have got through countless copies of Montague Rhodes James' ghost stories, but this edition, which is hardback and has an integral cloth bookmark, has served me for some years now. I should point out that some may find the print too small, but for me I love that I can slip it into a pocket, or a bag without taking up too much room.

As the winter nights start to set in ghost stories were traditionally told to scare, interest and entertain people over the dark cold nights. Of all writers of such short stories, M. R. James is the master, bringing to life what we call antiquarian ghost stories inspired by his own knowledge and expertise along with his very vast imagination. Collected here are all these such tales, some of them now recognised as classics in the supernatural genre. Who can forget that mysterious hotel room in 'Number 13', or that ghostly whistle in 'Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad' amongst many others? Some of these have been adapted for film and TV, creating new generations of fans.

Gone here is the traditional type of gothic tale, although some of the settings are still incorporated, to create a more eerie atmosphere, as James' tales use more mundane and realistic approaches to such settings. In all M. R. James is an author in which you can savour a ghost story, especially on a dark and windy night - alone - and with your favourite tipple, and despite the fact that if you are a fan like me and have read them many times, they still don't disappoint. In all this is a great little book to have with you and is sure to bring a lot of pleasure to many.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Edition 11 April 2010
Format:Hardcover
To fully appreciate a creepy story you have to curl up in bed with it in the small hours of the morning or perhaps carry it with you to read around a campfire.

This edition fills the bill. It's small and durable making it easy to take along and it's complete. You can carry every creepy tale penned by James in your coat pocket or tucked under your pillow while you lose a few hours sleep!
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5.0 out of 5 stars `There will be guests at the Hall` 22 Jan 2014
By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Montague Rhodes James wrote many of these classic ghost stories to delight, entertain and, one assumes, enthral his fellow undergraduates. Luckily for us, he went on writing them, with no discernible loss of the power to unsettle and, in some cases, scare the wits out of the reader. Try, for example, The Mezzotint, which stayed with me for days after reading it.
Those who demand a quick fix - or who have been spoilt for the frighteners by such as King and Barker - might find these tales slow and musty, which is of course exactly what they so gloriously and essentially are. These are literate, late-Victorian/Edwardian stories that draw on history, legend, topography, and the antiquarian concerns that were close to James`s heart. Events invariably evolve from an object such as an engraving or an ancient manuscript - is there any other kind in such tales? - as James calmly, disarmingly, and with blithe precision, turns the screw. When the shocks come, they are (for this reader, at any rate) the more unnerving for being related with such cool poise.
The Ash Tree tells a tale which builds from intimations of terror to full-blown horror, but told with a calm insouciance that beguiles even as it begins to appall.
Casting The Runes and the unforgettably titled Oh, Whistle, And I`ll Come To You, My Lad are rightly classics of the genre, while the excellent Lost Hearts is a rather more straightforward (though nonetheless effective) story of ghost children, with echoes of James`s namesake Henry, not to mention Kipling`s great short story called simply They.
My review title is taken from The Ash Tree, and are seven of the most unnervingly scary words I`ve ever read. A supposed witch utters them...
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