Books

Ghosts

M. R. James

A high-pitched laugh echoes in an empty church. Servants discover their master dead in his bed, the only sign of disturbance an open window. The coffin of a woman hanged as a witch is found to be empty. A bed that hasn’t been slept in is crumpled and distressed come the morning. A skeletal figure creeps closer and closer to the house where an unsuspecting family lie sleeping. In these chilling tales of the supernatural, M. R. James proves he truly is the master of the ghost story.

Selected from the book Ghost Stories by M.R. James

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Drinking by John Cheever
Summer by Laurie Lee
Friendship by Rose Tremain
Love by Jeanette Winterson

Stop What You’re Doing and Read…After Dark: Ghost Stories & Dracula

Bram Stoker (and others)

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.

M.R. JAMES' GHOST STORIES
SELECTED AND INTRODUCED BY RUTH RENDELL
M. R. James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernise a genre. James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognisable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying. Sheets, pictures, carvings, a dolls house, a lonely beach, a branch tapping on a window - ordinary things take on more than a tinge of dread in the hands of the original master of suspense.

DRACULA
'The door is shut, and the chains rattle; there is a grinding of the key in the lock; I hear the creaking of lock and bolt...I shall not remain alone with them. I may find a way from this dreadful place, away from this cursed spot, from this cursed land, where the devil and his children still walk with earthly feet!'
Young lawyer Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania on business for a mysterious Count. Months later in England, beautiful Lucy Westenra falls ill and dies, inexplicably, as if from a severe loss of blood. Lucy's friends, including Jonathan's fiancée Mina and the intrepid doctor Van Helsing, must begin a desperate battle against a powerful, ancient evil, in Bram Stoker's definitive gothic tale.

Ghost Stories

M. R. James (and others)

SELECTED AND INTRODUCED BY RUTH RENDELL

M. R. James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernise a genre. James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognisable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying. Sheets, pictures, carvings, a dolls house, a lonely beach, a branch tapping on a window - ordinary things take on more than a tinge of dread in the hands of the original master of suspense.

Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book

M. R. James

'The lower jaw was thin - what can I call it? - shallow, like a beast's; teeth showed behind the black lips...'

M. R. James is the master of the English ghost story, whose tales are inhabited not by ethereal spirits, but by terrifying, palpable forces of evil. In these four stories figures appear in paintings, demonic voices are heard, books awaken ancient horrors - and ordinary objects and situations are transformed into inescapable nightmares.

This book includes Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book, The Mezzotint, The Rose Garden and The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral.

The Haunted Dolls' House

M. R. James

Evil comes with many different faces.

A macabre human drama is re-enacted in a Gothic dolls’ house one night; a whistle awakens a force of unspeakable malevolence; an ancient curse is passed from person to person; a grisly crime is avenged from beyond the grave; the tomb of a Swedish count will not rest quietly …

M. R. James’s chilling ghost stories reveal a world where the familiar becomes diabolical, the smallest object can lead to unimaginable horror, and evil brushes against everyday life in the most unexpected and sinister of ways.

The Haunted Dolls' House and Other Ghost Stories

M. R. James

Antiquarian Paxton travels to a small town on the coast of Norfolk and learns of a legend concerning three crowns buried on the coast thousands of years ago to protect the land against marauding Vikings. Paxton tries to find the remaining crown, unaware of the supernatural presence that protects it.

Biography

M. R. James, the bookish and precocious son of a curate, was born in Kent in 1862. He studied at Cambridge and remained there for most of his life, becoming director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Provost of King's College and later Vice-Chancellor of the university. A brilliant scholar, he translated the New Testament apocrypha and catalogued many of the university's medieval manuscripts. His first story collection, based on stories he read aloud to friends on Christmas Eve, was published in 1904 as Ghost Stories of an Antiquary and was followed by three more. He died in 1936.