Press Release: Ghost Stories
M. R. James
With a preface by the author
Illustrated by James McBryde
‘The finest and most frightening ghost stories in the English language’
Montague Rhodes James (1862–1936), better known as M. R. James, was an outstanding medieval scholar, Provost of both Eton and King’s College,
Cambridge – and the greatest writer of ghost stories in the English language. Over one hundred years after they were first published, his eerie tales retain the power to unsettle and unnerve.
This new selection gathers sixteen of the very best, including the spinetingling classics ‘Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book’, ‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’ and ‘A Warning to the Curious’. Welcome to a world of lonely country houses, deserted cathedrals and ruined monasteries; obsessive scholars keen to lay their hands on rare manuscripts, precious artefacts or buried treasure; and the terrifying fiends whose attentions they inadvertently attract.
Many of James’ best-known stories were originally written to be read to friends in his College rooms on Christmas Eve, by the light of a single candle. They still retain the intimate tone of these dramatic live readings, laced with dry humour and skilful understatement.
This edition showcases the original illustrations from James’ debut collection produced by his closest friend, James McBryde. Tragically, McBryde had completed just four pen and ink drawings – which he regarded as his finest work – when he died suddenly in June 1904.
To honour his memory, a devastated James insisted that no other artist completed the illustrations, and the first edition of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary featured only these four pictures. In accordance with James’ wishes, we have reproduced McBryde’s haunting images, finally
supplementing them with a fifth rarely seen sketch, that remained unfinished at his death.
Bound in cloth blocked with a design by Neil Gower.
Set in Albertina with Minion display.
288 pages. 4 full-page black & white illustrations and 1 additional sketch.
Metallic slipcase. 8¾˝ x 5½˝.
UK £29.95 US $44.95 Can $59.95 Aus $59.95
For media enquiries please contact
UK & ROW
Lily Cunningham, Cherish PR
020 3626 0282,
US & Canada
Cathleen P. Williamson