'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.
Part of the "Collector's Library" series, this book's Afterword is by the well-known crime writer and eminent Sherlockian, David Stuart Davies. It features a brief biography of the author and a reading list. It contains the stories "The Experiment", "The Malice of Inanimate Objects" and "A Vignette", among others.
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.
The only annotated edition of M. R. Jamess writings currently available, Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories contains the entire first two volumes of Jamess ghost stories, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary and More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. These volumes are both the culmination of the nineteenth-century ghost story tradition and the inspiration for much of the best twentieth-century work in this genre. Included in this collection are such landmark tales as Count Magnus, set in the wilds of Sweden; Number 13, a distinctive tale about a haunted hotel room; Casting the Runes, a richly complex tale of sorcery that served as the basis for the classic horror film Curse of the Demon; and Oh, Whistle, and Ill Come to You, My Lad, one of the most frightening tales in literature. The appendix includes several rare texts, including A Night in Kings College Chapel, Jamess first known ghost story.
First time in Penguin Classics
Les oeuvres fantastiques de Montague Rhodes James constitue un corpus peu important : à peine quatre cents pages dans lesquelles il concentre un art assez unique du récit de terreur. Ses «Ghost stories» devenues des références du genre chez les Anglo-saxons, restent mystérieusement méconnues du public franc¸ais malgré les pages très élogieuses de Lovecraft qui voyait en lui un maître du genre. Un premier tome de l'intégralité des nouvelles souvent brèves est proposé, qui mettent en scène des créatures fantomatiques et peu conciliantes qu'on ne dérange jamais sans risque. Avec lui, on se réjouit de cette manière anglaise de raconter l'horrifique et de cet art d'en dire peu pour laisser faire l'imagination.