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Summary: Montague Rhodes James (1 August 1862 – 12 June 1936) was an English author, medievalist scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918), and of Eton College (1918–1936). He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (1913–15). Though James's work as a medievalist and scholar is still highly regarded, he is best remembered for his ghost stories, which some regard as among the best in the genre. He redefined the ghost story for the new century by abandoning many of the formal Gothic clichés of his predecessors and using more realistic contemporary settings. However, his protagonists and plots tend to reflect his own antiquarian interests. Accordingly, he is known as the originator of the "antiquarian ghost story". James was born in a clergy house in Goodnestone, Dover, Kent, England, although his parents had associations with Aldeburgh in Suffolk. His father was Herbert James, an Evangelical Anglican clergyman, and his mother, Mary Emily (née Horton), was the daughter of a naval officer. He had two older brothers, Sydney and Herbert (nicknamed "Ber"), and an older sister, Grace. Sydney James later became Archdeacon of Dudley. From the age of three (1865) until 1909 James's home, if not always his residence, was at the Rectory in Great Livermere, Suffolk. This had previously been the childhood home of another eminent Suffolk antiquary, Thomas Martin of Palgrave (1696–1771). Several of James's ghost stories are set in Suffolk, including "'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad'" (Felixstowe), "A Warning to the Curious" (Aldeburgh), "Rats" and "A Vignette" (Great Livermere).
Books of Montague Rhodes James