Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories

By M. R. James; Michael Cox | Go to book overview

EXPLANATORY NOTES

ABBREVIATIONS

CANON ALBERIC'S SCRAP-BOOK
1. Title: originally called blandly 'A Curious Book', this story, probably MRJ's first, was published initially in the National Review for March 1895, retitled for publication The Scrap-book of Canon Alberic. It was republished in 1904 as the opening story of GSA, with a final slight modification of the title. In the Preface to CGS MR} states incorrectly that the story was written in 1894. In fact it must have been written between mid-April 1892, after MRJ visited S. Bertrand de Comminges (see below), and 28 October 1893, when it was read to the Chitchat Society at Cambridge together with 'Lost Hearts' (see Introduction, p. xviii). MS: King's College, Cambridge. Text: MS, collated with printed versions.

S. Bertrand de Comminges: an ancient Pyrenean town that MRJ had long wished to visit, from at least 1887. It was not until the Easter vacation of 1892 that he was able to go there, with a party that included two friends from Christ's College, Cambridge: J. Armitage Robinson and Arthur (later Sir Arthur) Shipley. The 'wonderful church' of the story was described by MRJ in a letter to his parents, and he provided them with a sketch plan on which he marked many details that are mentioned in the story— including the stuffed crocodile. MRJ revisited Comminges at Easter 1899, an d also in 1902. He made trips to France, the country that was 'his first and greatest love' (Memoir,

-299-

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Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Note on the Text xxxi
  • Select Bibliography xxxiii
  • A Chronology of M. R. James xxxvi
  • 'Casting the Runes' and Other Ghost Stories xxxix
  • Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book 1
  • The Mezzotint 14
  • Number 13 26
  • Count Magnus 43
  • 'Oh, Whistle, and I'Ll Come to You, My Lad' 57
  • The Treasure of Abbot Thomas 78
  • A School Story 97
  • The Rose Garden 105
  • The Tractate Middoth 117
  • Casting the Runes 135
  • The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral 157
  • Mr Humphreys and His Inheritance 172
  • The Diary of Mr Poynter 199
  • An Episode of Cathedral History 210
  • The Uncommon Prayer-Book 228
  • A Neighbour's Landmark 244
  • A Warning to the Curious 257
  • Rats 275
  • The Experiment 281
  • The Malice of Inanimate Objects 288
  • A Vignette 293
  • Explanatory Notes 299
  • Appendix - M. R. James on Ghost Stories 337
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