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Ghost Stories
Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

By M. R. James, Introduction by Ruth Rendell

Vintage Classics


384 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $14.95 (US $14.95)

Publication Date: October 2011

ISBN 9780099560562

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Oct 2011)
Vintage Classics

Price: $14.95


Malignant forces and supernatural visitors haunt these superbly spooky tales, selected and introduced by Ruth Rendell

Malignant forces and supernatural visitors haunt these superbly spooky tales, 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 modernize a genre. James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognizable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying. Sheets, pictures, carvings, a doll's 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. James's prescription for his ghost stories was to "let the ominous thing put out its head, unobtrusively at first, and then more insistently, until it holds the stage."


"An original and powerful storyteller . . . A gnawing sense of unease, a steady accumulation of sounds, shadows and images finally meet in a single moment of sensational physical horror." —Daily Telegraph

"M. R. James is quite simply the finest writer of ghost stories ever. They're always set in an academic context, about university chaps who find out very nasty things while they're researching. They uncork the wrong bottle, unearth the wrong papers, dig up the wrong place. . . . James was provost of Eton and a fellow of Kings College, and the stories have this wonderful candlelit, academic atmosphere, surrounded by incredible nastiness. Tweedy, but unpleasant." —Christopher Frayling, author, Spaghetti Westerns

Author Biography

M. R. James (1862–1936) was a renowed medievalist and biblical scholar, and published works on palaeography, antiquarianism, bibliography, and history as well as editing a collection of ghost stories by Sheridan Le Fanu. He remains best known for his own ghost stories, which were published in several collections including Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, A Thin Ghost and Other Stories, and A Warning to the Curious. Ruth Rendell is an award-winning crime writer whose titles include End in Tears, Harm Done, and The Monster in the Box.