The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories

The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories With their evocative settings amid mists and shadows in ruinous houses on lonely roads and wild moorlands in abandoned churches and over grown gardens ghost stories have long exercised a universal

  • Title: The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories
  • Author: Michael Cox R.A. Gilbert
  • ISBN: 9780192141637
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Hardcover
  • With their evocative settings amid mists and shadows, in ruinous houses, on lonely roads and wild moorlands, in abandoned churches and over grown gardens, ghost stories have long exercised a universal fascination Here at last is an anthology of some of the very best English ghost stories which combines a serious literary purpose with the plain intention of arousing a pleaWith their evocative settings amid mists and shadows, in ruinous houses, on lonely roads and wild moorlands, in abandoned churches and over grown gardens, ghost stories have long exercised a universal fascination Here at last is an anthology of some of the very best English ghost stories which combines a serious literary purpose with the plain intention of arousing a pleasurable fear at the doings of the dead This selection of forty two stories, written between 1829 and 1968, is the first to present the full range and vitality of the ghost fiction tradition by demonstrating its historical development as well as its major themes and characteristics It includes stories by Walter Scott, M R James, Bram Stoker, Rudyard Kipling, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham and T H White Elizabeth Bowen suggested that the ghost story works through a series of happenings whose horror lies in their being just, just, out of time, and the success of a story may be judged by what Edith Wharton called its thermometrical quality if it sends a cold shiver down the spine, it has done its job and done it well The challenge of this most demanding form has been taken up by a host of writers, both specialists like J S Le Fanu and Algernon Blackwood, and those, such as Henry James and H G Wells, for whom ghost stories were only a part of their literary output Nor does this collection overlook the important contribution of women writers, with eight stories included from Amelia Edward s The Phantom Ghost 1864 to Elizabeth Bowen s Hand in Glove 1952.

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    About " Michael Cox R.A. Gilbert "

  • Michael Cox R.A. Gilbert

    Michael Andrew Cox was an English biographer, novelist and musician.He also held the position of Senior Commissioning Editor of reference books for Oxford University Press.


  • Beautiful collection. Contains ghost stories of a lot of good known writers, not only of the well known ghost story writers.

  • May 30, 2010The description above gives the statistics and chronological parameters for this collection accurately. (Where stories by American writers are included, they mostly have British settings/characters, and all follow the formal features of the English tradition.) Oxford Univ. Press, of course, is noted for the literary quality of its anthologies, so I've been looking forward to this one; my reading so far hasn't disappointed on that score! In keeping with the scholarly bent of the publ [...]

  • Ok, confession: I read a majority of this book in the stacks while working at the library. Don't judge me--if you had to shelf-read for hours on end, you would take the occasional break to. But anyway, I loved the stories in this book. They're the old-fashioned, downright creepy stories that are, unfortunately, seldom seen nowadays. My favorites were The Monkey's Paw and this story about a creepy bird-like creature that I can't remember the title of (it was the simplest story yet I can't help bu [...]

  • The English really do excel at writing ghost stories. I can honestly say that I didn't regret reading one of these stories in this book. I actually read it in a very short amount of time, which is impressive for an anthology that is sizable. There is just something about the English setting for a ghost story that resonates with me. I also believe that the menace of what is unseen is much more impressive when the narrator of the story is a dignified sort not given to believe in such things. Proba [...]

  • This anthology, superbly edited and introduced by Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert, is a great way to begin your library of supernatural fiction. Even the connoisseur will find some rare gems. From the first of the chronologically arranged stories, "The Tapestry Room" by Sir Walter Scott, you'll be intrigued by the incredible variety. Whether you enjoy the swooning Romanticism of Vernon Lee's "A Wicked Voice," the dry restraint of M.R. James "Oh, Whistle," or the naturalistic American dialogue of Ma [...]

  • I love this book and have read it several times! I think my favorite story in this anthology is "The Empty House" but there are few that disappoint! A good spooky book!

  • This British book was originally published in 1986. There are some good tales in it- I've always loved "The Monkey's Paw" and read it to students at Halloween (The Simpsons did a nice "TreeHouse of Horror" episode with it), and I also enjoyed "The Upper Berth," "The Judge's House," "Man-Size in Marble," "The Red Room," and "The Lost Ghost," among others. Several authors are also well-known, such as Sir Walter Scott, HG Wells, and Henry James.However, there are some flaws. Many of these stories a [...]

  • This was a book that I dipped in and out of over a couple of years. It's an excellent collection of classic short ghost stories, mostly from the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.In many ways it presents the classic ghost story as a period-specific genre, i.e. typically Victorian/pre-war stories about the protagonist experiencing (and surviving) ghostly goings-on, often at the home of a friend or colleague (who's recently moved into a house that is CLEARLY haunted).Susan Hill's [...]

  • I have nearly worn this copy out, which I have had for a couple of decades. Love the collection. Love to keep this, and several other short stories (with ghosts and scariness) by my bedside for some "light" reading.

  • Nell'introduzione gli editori cercano di definire lastoria di fantasmi, perché vogliono giustificare, da bravi britannici, con quale criterio hanno scelto alcuni racconti e scartato altri. Annuiamo.La definizione lascia qualcosa a desiderare, uno non sa bene cosa. È come se ci si aspettasse che le storie di fantasmi fossero molto più di quello, o molto meno, o in generale qualcosa di diverso.La verità, secondo me, è che prima di leggere questo libro uno ha un'idea troppo evanescente di cosa [...]

  • This is a mostly enjoyable anthology of ghost stories by English authors or set in England. Most of the major authors of ghost stories are represented, with a mix of well known (such as “Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad” by M. R. James and “The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs which is arguably not a ghost story and, because of its frequent appearance in anthologies, should have been excluded in favor of something more unusual or traditional) and less well known (for example “T [...]

  • The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories, edited by: Michael Cox and, R.A. Gilbert did have some redeeming stories that brought my rating into the 3 star bracket. This was due to the work of such authors as: Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Oliver Onions, Arthur Grey, W. Somerset Maugham, Vernon Lee, Henry James, Mary Wilkins, Amelia Edwards, and May Sinclair. These particular writers gave the book its' best stories, many of the others were just a bit to bland, and did not follow the normally accepted norm [...]

  • As well-written as all of these stories are, as bona-fide classic as many are judged to be, I couldn't help but often feel a sense of Been There Done That as I trudged through this volume. Maybe I've been reading too many classic ghost story/gothic horror collections over the past couple of years and I'm a bit burned out, but I found a lot of this stuff frankly hasn't aged particularly well. Still, there were some stellar pieces in here that I'd never heard of before, including W.F. Harvey's sho [...]

  • In an easy-to-use paperback edition, The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories serves as a welcoming traveling companion when going just about anywhere, especially through the dingy streets and foggy countryside of England. This is a collection that features stories that scared a lot of people when published, and continue to do so even now. Renowned authors make an appearance here: Bram Stoker (naturally), Henry James, H. G. Wells, Sir Walter Scott and Edith Wharton to name a few. Infamous storie [...]

  • A pleasent enough read, but really a mixed bag overall. The further in the book I went, the stories seemed to get longer and less entertaining, though there were an exceptional few. Notable stories include The Tapistried Chamber; The Phantom Coach; The Judge's House; The Red Room; The Monkey's Paw; and The Clock (my personal fave) and a few other, lesser ones Sadly, many of the other stories are skipable. I would recomend borrowing this book or buying it second-hand. If you can find most of the [...]

  • These ghost stories like most of their type are not actually scary. There are a number of interesting Stories however. The Monkey's Paw is always good, and The last story which is by T.H. White is quite good. There are many other good stories in here, and many not so good ones. The first few stories are especially uninteresting. The Charles Williams story in this book (which is likely why my wife picked it out for me) starts out really dull, but improves slightly by the end. Perhaps it deserves [...]

  • There were a couple gems in here (one of which I'd read before.) Unfortunately, the style of these Victorian Era short fictions simply doesn't work for me. The imbedded "let me tell you the story that someone told me a story about" approach, the 80% setup for 10-20% story's interesting if you are studying the ghost story from a lit-class perspective, but not very thrilling for a reader. I probably should have re-read The Shining instead!

  • I'm not a fan of horror stories, but I do like old ghost stories. Most of these were very good stories, but the language of the last story "Soft Voices at Passenham" was absolutely delightful. Really excellent writing. It finally occured to me to look at the author and saw that it was T. H. White. Well, of course.

  • Modern horror and uncanny fiction is a multinational, multicultural affair, but it's hard to argue that the genre has strong and sturdy roots in Great Britain. This collections of stories is near essential, with M. R. James, E. F. Benson and dozens of other essential authors- plus a few unexpected oddities, such as "The Clock," which unsettled me greatly upon first reading.

  • Fun, though when you read so many ghost stories together like this, you realize how the basic plots show up over and over again. 1. Someone encounters an evil ghost and flees in horror. 2. Someone sees a loved one acting strange; realizes later that the loved one was ALREADY DEAD. Et cetera. But there are enough variations to make it enjoyable. Some are genuinely original and wonderfully creepy.

  • Edith Wharton's Mr Jones was the best in this collection. Other standout (or decent) stories: A.M. Burrage's Smee, E. Nesbit's Man-Size in Marble, Henry James's The Friends of the Friends, E.G. Swain's Bone to his Bone, Simon Raven's The Bottle of 1912.Ghost stories aren't really my thing. I enjoy the conventions of the gothic more.

  • Love ghost stories and fell in love with M.R.James when I was about 12 and read Oh whistle and I'll come to you my lad. Saw a recent television production of this with John Hurt and had to hide behind a cushion. I'm not in to gory horror, which is probably why I like the more classic ghost stories.

  • An excellent selection of ghost stories featured in chronological order from 1829-1981. It doesn't contain my two favorites The Signalman by Charles Dickens (strangely there are no Dickens stories here at all) and The Watcher by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. But I have those two in other collections, so who cares!Great for winter reading when there's a storm outside.

  • Really really enjoyed this book. I always love old ghost stories written by authors in the past century like M.R. James and Le Fanu. Some of the stories in this book will take a while before the shivers are caught up when you finally realize what's happening to the author.

  • A literate and well chosen selection of ghost stories, more focus on corporeal hauntings than purely psychological ones, which I generally prefer and many haunted house types, but overall a spooky and historically interesting collection.

  • This is a collection of classic ghost stories and most of them I've read before. Many of them are really old and the most recent dates from 1981,I enjoyed both the unfamiliar and the familiar ones and the introduction was interesting.A good book to dip into.

  • I need to revisit this one. I read it in a rush to meet a yearly reading goal and looking back I don't remember much about it now.

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