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Considered by many to be the most terrifying writer in English, M. R. James is an unlikely producer of ghost-stories. An eminent scholar who spent his entire adult life in the academic surroundings of Eton and Cambridge, his classic supernatural tales have lost none of their power to unsettle and disturb. They draw on the terrors of the everyday, in which documents and objects unleash terrible forces, often in closed rooms and night-time settings where imagination runs riot. Lonely country houses, remote inns, ancient churches or the manuscript collections of great libraries provide settings for unbearable menace, from creatures seeking retribution and harm. Stories that were first read aloud in James's study late on Christmas Eve have the power to haunt us still. This book presents all of James's published ghost stories, including the unforgettable 'Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad' and 'Casting the Runes', and an appendix of James's writings on the ghost story. Darryl Jones's introduction and notes provide a fascinating insight into James's background and his mastery of the genre he made his own.

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