M.R. James





M.R. James


Born
in Kent, England, The United Kingdom
August 01, 1862

Died
June 12, 1936

Genre


Montague Rhodes James, who used the publication name M.R. James, was a noted British mediaeval scholar & provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–18) & of Eton College (1918–36). He's best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature. One of James' most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings.

Average rating: 4.05 · 21,568 ratings · 1,524 reviews · 463 distinct works · Similar authors
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Ghost Stories

4.07 avg rating — 441 ratings — published 1882 — 18 editions
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Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come ...

3.70 avg rating — 432 ratings — published 1904 — 12 editions
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A Thin Ghost and Others

3.95 avg rating — 248 ratings — published 1919 — 4 editions
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Complete Ghost Stories

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More books by M.R. James…
“Those who spend the greater part of their time in reading or writing books are, of course, apt to take rather particular notice of accumulations of books when they come across them. They will not pass a stall, a shop, or even a bedroom-shelf without reading some title, and if they find themselves in an unfamiliar library, no host need trouble himself further about their entertainment. The putting of dispersed sets of volumes together, or the turning right way up of those which the dusting housemaid has left in an apoplectic condition, appeals to them as one of the lesser Works of Mercy. Happy in these employments, and in occasionally opening an eighteenth-century octavo, to see 'what it is all about,' and to conclude after five minutes that it deserves the seclusion it now enjoys, I had reached the middle of a wet August afternoon at Betton Court...

-the beginning of the story "A Neighbor's Landmark”
M.R. James, A Warning to the Curious Ghost Stories

“If any of [my stories] succeed in causing their readers to feel pleasantly uncomfortable when walking along a solitary road at nightfall, or sitting over a dying fire in the small hours, my purpose in writing them will have been attained.”
M.R. James

“Two ingredients most valuable in the concocting of a ghost story are the atmosphere and the nicely managed crescendo
…Let us, then, be introduced to the actors in a placid way; let us see them going about their ordinary business, undisturbed by forebodings, pleased with their surroundings; and into this calm environment let the ominous thing put out its head, unobtrusively at first, and then more insistently, until it holds the stage.”
M.R. James, A Warning to the Curious

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