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Synopsis

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary is the title of M. R. James' first collection of ghost stories, published in 1904 (some had previously appeared in magazines). Some later editions under this title contain both the original collection and its successor, More Ghost Stories (1911), combined in one volume. Montague Rhodes James (1862–1936) was a medieval scholar; Provost of King's College, Cambridge. He wrote many of his ghost stories to be read aloud in the long tradition of spooky Christmas Eve tales. His stories often use rural settings, with a quiet, scholarly protagonist getting caught up in the activities of supernatural forces. The details of horror are almost never explicit, the stories relying on a gentle, bucolic background to emphasise the awfulness of the otherworldly intrusions.

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