The Prospect Before Us
This Is England
Some Early History
British World Heritage Sites
In The Hedgerows
Albion's Woodlands
Three Forests Of England
The National Nature Reserves
Within This Village
Beneath Albion's Surface
The Albion River Hymn
Where Other Waters Flow
Albion's Railways
In This City
In This City: Some History
Lark Rise To Candleford
John Moore.1907-1967
Montague Rhodes James. 1862-1936
Along The Downs
Along The Pilgrims Way
A Canterbury Tale 1944
Albions' Music
Horse's Brawl
London Calling
Cinema Show
"Just Room For One Inside Sir..."
It's The Vicar!!
All Creatures Great and Small
The Prospect Before Us
Communications and Links


"Something shrunken to bone and leather and rags, yet still animated by a single, burning desire.........."


"I Will Consider The Evidence........"

M.R. James. 1862-1936.

Montague Rhodes James was born in 1862 in Goodnestone Parsonage, Kent, where his father was the curate, and died in 1936. He developed a taste for old books from a precocious age and was fonder of reading dusty volumes in the library than playing with the other children. He studied at Eton and then at King's College, Cambridge, where he became assistant in Classical archaeology at the Fitzwilliam museum. He was elected a Fellow of King's after writing his dissertation The Apocalypse of St. Peter, and after that, he lectured in divinity, eventually becoming dean of the college in 1889. He was a distinguished medievalist and wrote a large amount of reviews, translations, monographs, articles and works on bibliography, palaeography, antiquarian issues, and often edited volumes for specialized bibliographical and historical societies. He was a brilliant linguist and biblical scholar, and he was exceptionally gifted, which, along with his unusually keen memory and hard work, enabled him to write many pioneering studies. His translation of the Apocryphal New Testament in 1924 was one of these studies. He was made provost of King's College in 1905 and was later the vice-chancellor of the university from 1913 to 1915. His research often took him abroad, and he visited Cyprus, Denmark, Bavaria, Austria and Sweden, where he set his story "Count Magnus", whom he based on the 17th century count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie.

 Although he was a great scholar in his day, he is now most remembered for his ghost stories. Fascinated by the supernatural, he was an admirer of the Irish mystery-writer John Sheridan LeFanu, whose ghost stories he edited. James's stories were usually first published in magazines such as the Cambridge Review, but some were written for special occasions. Wailing Well is one such story, composed for the gathering of the Eton College boy scouts in 1927. His life was spent in studying the past. Among other things, he catalogued the many manuscript collections in Cambridge, a task that took forty years to complete. He never married and never had any children. The university, Eton and his books were his life.






The Studies Of An Antiquary

M.R. James in his study


The Complete Short Stories and Others

A Neighbour's Landmark

A View From The Hill

A Vignette

After Dark On The School Playing Fields

An Evening's Entertainment

 The inspiration for Jacques Tourneur's 1958 film

(some remarks on the writing of ghost stories)

The Diary of Mr. Poynter

The Experiment

The Haunted Dolls House

The Malice of Inanimate Objects

The Residence at Whitminster

The Uncommon Prayer Book

There Was A Man Who By A Churchyard Dwelt

Two Doctors

a note: those titles without an underline have no e-text available


Episodes of M.R.James History



the online newsletter on all things M.R. James
BBC Great Lives Series
hear the programme on the BBC website



 Other M.R. James

catalogued by MRJ

Click this link for a translation of the
 original Mishnic Tractate Middoth,
if you want to find out why Dr Rant
thought this a safe place to hide his will!

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get it here

: the manuscript

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on our Walk Awhile website



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