M.R. James: The Romance of Scholarship

Seminar

2 July 2010

10:00 – 11:00 am

Cultural Collections Reading Room

The Romance of Scholarship:
the antiquarian element in the ghost stories of M.R. James

Dr Edward Bridle

The late M.R. James (Provost of Eton and sometime Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University) was a noted mediæval and Biblical scholar and an acknowledged authority on Western manuscripts. He was also – largely by accident – perhaps the greatest ever practitioner of the English ghost story, and it is for his work in this vein that he is most widely remembered. James’ popular writings were closely dependent upon his scholarly work, and they derive much of their ability to please from his deployment of the antiquarian materials with which he was so thoroughly familiar. This paper examines this aspect of James’ fiction against the background of his more “serious” academic concerns.

All are welcome to attend.


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