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The voice – it was little more than a whisper – sounded so hoarse and angry, and yet as if it came from a long, long way off . . . ‘
The aim of a good ghost story is to make the blood freeze, pleasurably, and this M. R. James achieves to perfection in these wonderful stories. His most atmospheric settings include English country houses and gardens, the north end of the churchyard, the yew-maze in ‘Mr Humphreys and his Inheritance’ and the unforgettable train journey in ‘Casting the Runes’. To each of these stories he brings an eye for the telling detail, an imaginative twist and a narrative tone that is, at least to begin with, urbane and reassuring . . .
The Penguin English Library – collectable general readers’ editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War.
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