"The art of Dr. James is by no means haphazard, and in the preface to one of his collections he has formulated three
very sound rules for macabre composition. A ghost story, he believes, should have a familiar setting in the modern period,
in order to approach closely the reader's sphere of experience. Its spectral phenomena, moreover, should be malevolent rather
than beneficent; since fear is the emotion primarily to be excited. And finally, the technical patois of 'occultism'
or pseudo-science ought carefully to be avoided; lest the charm of casual verisimilitude be smothered in unconvincing pedantry."
With that quote from the American master of the macabre, H.P. Lovecraft, we welcome(?) you to another look at the
work of Montague Rhodes James.Now, one has to be very careful about things like this. Introductions are all well and good,
in their proper settings, but under certain circumstances one cannot be too careful. Let us then say, again, with caution,
welcome to this the collection of stories known as Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, first published in 1904 by Edward Arnold
of London and presented here in its entirety. Elsewhere on the net we have our website dedicated to the works, ghost and non
- ghost, of M.R. James, also an essay on the subject of writing or not writing stories appears on our original
Albion Chronicles website, the link along with others can be found on the right hand side of this page.....Now, without
further ado, let us hand you over to The Master
"The reading of many ghost stories has shown me that
the greatest successes have been scored by the authors who can make us envisage a definite time and place, and give us plenty
of clear-cut and matter-of-fact detail, but who, when the climax is reached, allow us to be just a little in the dark . .
-- M. R. James
Walk carefully and whatever you do, don't pick up anything you may find on the road, most especially if the
package contains hair or nail parings............ enough said!