Henry James was arguably the greatest practitioner of what has been called the psychological ghost story. His stories explore the region which lies between the supernatural or straightforwardly marvellous and the darker areas of the human psyche. This edition includes all ten of his `appacitional` stories, or ghost stories in the strict sense of the term, and as such is the fullest collection currently available. The stories range widely in tone and type. They include `The Jolly Corner`, a compelling story of psychological doubling; `Owen Wingrave`, which is also a subtle parable of military tradition; `The Friends of the Friends`, a strange story of uncanny love; and `The Private Life`, which finds high comedy in its ghostly theme. The volume also includes James`s great novella `The Turn of the Screw`, perhaps the most ambiguous and disturbing ghost story ever written.
M.R.James is probably the finest ghost-story writer England has ever produced. These tales are not only classics of their genre, but are also superb examples of beautifully-paced understatement, convincing background and chilling terror.
As well as the preface, there is a fascinating tail-piece by M.R.James, `Stories I Have Tried to Write`, which accompanies these thirty tales. Among them are `Casting the Runes`, `Oh, Whistle and I`ll come to you, My Lad`, `The Tractate Middoth`, `The Ash Tree` and `Canon Alberic`s Scrapbook`.