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A Ghosts & Scholars Book of Folk Horror

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Sarob Press is delighted to present a superb collection of Jamesian Folk Horror tales. Ten have been selected from the pages of editor Rosemary Pardoe’s journals Ghosts & Scholars and The Ghosts & Scholars MR James Newsletter ~ and seven are newly written especially for this volume. The previously published stories date from as early as 1980 and as recent as 2015. And here Sarob Press is delighted to present a superb collection of Jamesian Folk Horror tales. Ten have been selected from the pages of editor Rosemary Pardoe’s journals Ghosts & Scholars and The Ghosts & Scholars MR James Newsletter ~ and seven are newly written especially for this volume. The previously published stories date from as early as 1980 and as recent as 2015. And here you’ll find Folk Horror in a variety of expected and unexpected settings, from ancient burial mounds in Wiltshire and East Anglia to a park in Liverpool, by way of ruins in Ireland, and the countryside/villages of the Lake District, Dorset, Derbyshire and an unspecified southern county. In the new stories the settings range further afield and include Scotland and Greece. In one case, while the setting is Scotland, the Folk Horror comes terrifyingly from pre-war Germany. Authors: Michael Chislett, Chico Kidd, Ramsey Campbell, Jacqueline Simpson, C.E. Ward, Philip Thompson, Terry Lamsley, Kay Fletcher, Geoffrey Warburton, Carole Tyrrell and (the new stories) Gail-Nina Anderson, Helen Grant, Tom Johnstone, Christopher Harman, John Llewellyn Probert, David A. Sutton & S.A. Rennie. Edited & Introduced by Rosemary Pardoe. A Ghosts & Scholars Book of Folk Horror is a Hand Numbered Limited Edition Jacketed Hardcover. Bound in Wibalin Cloth (Fine Linen Style), Foil Blocked to Spine, Premium 80gsm Cream Bookwove, Coloured Endpapers, Sewn binding & Head/Tailbands. Approx 192pp inclusive of prelims etc. Full Colour Dust-Jacket Art by Paul Lowe.


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Sarob Press is delighted to present a superb collection of Jamesian Folk Horror tales. Ten have been selected from the pages of editor Rosemary Pardoe’s journals Ghosts & Scholars and The Ghosts & Scholars MR James Newsletter ~ and seven are newly written especially for this volume. The previously published stories date from as early as 1980 and as recent as 2015. And here Sarob Press is delighted to present a superb collection of Jamesian Folk Horror tales. Ten have been selected from the pages of editor Rosemary Pardoe’s journals Ghosts & Scholars and The Ghosts & Scholars MR James Newsletter ~ and seven are newly written especially for this volume. The previously published stories date from as early as 1980 and as recent as 2015. And here you’ll find Folk Horror in a variety of expected and unexpected settings, from ancient burial mounds in Wiltshire and East Anglia to a park in Liverpool, by way of ruins in Ireland, and the countryside/villages of the Lake District, Dorset, Derbyshire and an unspecified southern county. In the new stories the settings range further afield and include Scotland and Greece. In one case, while the setting is Scotland, the Folk Horror comes terrifyingly from pre-war Germany. Authors: Michael Chislett, Chico Kidd, Ramsey Campbell, Jacqueline Simpson, C.E. Ward, Philip Thompson, Terry Lamsley, Kay Fletcher, Geoffrey Warburton, Carole Tyrrell and (the new stories) Gail-Nina Anderson, Helen Grant, Tom Johnstone, Christopher Harman, John Llewellyn Probert, David A. Sutton & S.A. Rennie. Edited & Introduced by Rosemary Pardoe. A Ghosts & Scholars Book of Folk Horror is a Hand Numbered Limited Edition Jacketed Hardcover. Bound in Wibalin Cloth (Fine Linen Style), Foil Blocked to Spine, Premium 80gsm Cream Bookwove, Coloured Endpapers, Sewn binding & Head/Tailbands. Approx 192pp inclusive of prelims etc. Full Colour Dust-Jacket Art by Paul Lowe.

34 review for A Ghosts & Scholars Book of Folk Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    This hardcover is numbered 91 of 325 copies produced. Contents: vi- Sources vii - Introduction by Rosemary Pardoe 001 - Michael Chislet - "Meeting Mr. Ketcham" 015 - Chico Kidd - "Figures in a Landscape" 023 - Ramsey Campbell - "The Burning" 027 - Jacqueline Simpson - "Where are the Bones ... ?" 039 - C. E. Ward - "The Spinner" 045 - Philip Thompson - "Beatrix Paints a Landscape (1884)" 047 - Terry Lamsley - "The Walls" 961 - Kay Fletcher - The Peewold Ampbhisbaena" 069 - Geoffrey Warburton - "The Lane" 077 This hardcover is numbered 91 of 325 copies produced. Contents: vi- Sources vii - Introduction by Rosemary Pardoe 001 - Michael Chislet - "Meeting Mr. Ketcham" 015 - Chico Kidd - "Figures in a Landscape" 023 - Ramsey Campbell - "The Burning" 027 - Jacqueline Simpson - "Where are the Bones ... ?" 039 - C. E. Ward - "The Spinner" 045 - Philip Thompson - "Beatrix Paints a Landscape (1884)" 047 - Terry Lamsley - "The Walls" 961 - Kay Fletcher - The Peewold Ampbhisbaena" 069 - Geoffrey Warburton - "The Lane" 077 - Carole Tyrrell -"Lorelie" 087 - Gail-Nina Anderson - "Variant Versions" 097 - Helen Grant - "The Volley of Achor" 109 - Tom Johnstone -"The Cutty Wren" 123 - Christopher Harman - "Sisters Rise" 141 - John Llewellyn Probert - "The Discontent of Familiars" 151 - David A Sutton - "The Dew-Shadows" 161 - S. A. Rennie - "Out of the Water, Out of the Ground" 171 - Notes on the Authors 177 - Acknowledgments Dust Jacket by Paul Love

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul Finch

    WARNING FOR SLIGHT SPOILERS An enthralling anthology of macabre supernatural tales, some old and some brand new, but all drawing heavily on folklore, primarily of the British variety, and written in the style and tone of MR James. Initially, rather than outline all the stories contained here, I’ll let the official Sarob Press blurb do the talking, as it nicely pitches the chills and thrills to come. Sarob Press is delighted to present a superb collection of Jamesian folk horror tales. Ten have been WARNING FOR SLIGHT SPOILERS An enthralling anthology of macabre supernatural tales, some old and some brand new, but all drawing heavily on folklore, primarily of the British variety, and written in the style and tone of MR James. Initially, rather than outline all the stories contained here, I’ll let the official Sarob Press blurb do the talking, as it nicely pitches the chills and thrills to come. Sarob Press is delighted to present a superb collection of Jamesian folk horror tales. Ten have been selected from the pages of editor Rosemary Pardoe’s journals Ghosts & Scholars and The Ghosts & Scholars MR James Newsletter – and seven are newly written especially for this volume. The previously published stories date from as early as 1980 and as recently as 2015. Here, you’ll find folk horror in a variety of expected and unexpected settings, from ancient burial mounds in Wiltshire and East Anglia to a park in Liverpool, by way of ruins in Ireland and the countryside villages of the Lake District, Dorset, Derbyshire and an unspecified southern county. In the new stories the settings range further afield and include Scotland and Greece. In one case, while the setting is Scotland, the folk horror comes terrifyingly from pre-war Germany. For the uninitiated, Ghosts & Scholars, which Rosemary Pardoe also edits, is a long-running and very informative magazine, which as well as encouraging scholarly research into MR James (a noted academic as well as a famous writer of ghost stories), includes new fiction written in the Jamesian fashion, articles, reviews and atmospheric artwork. To my mind, there’s always been a correlation between James’ style of writing and the concept of folk horror, a subgenre that has long been with us, but which has returned to the public’s attention in a big way after the release of recent horror movies like The Ritual, Borderlands, Wake Wood, A Field in England etc. All that said, I don’t think the two forms are necessarily the same thing. MR James is widely regarded as the architect of the modern English ghost story, focussing on arcane but mainly fictional mysteries, often setting his tales in the world of antiquarians, where scholarly meddlers arouse the ire of supernatural malcontents by seeking out musty treasures of the past. James died in 1936, so invariably the bulk of his stories occur in the first quarter of the 20th century, a period very familiar to traditionalist ghost story fans, and while many modern authors who’ve been influenced by him have set their fiction in our own age, the gentlemanly tone often remains. James’ stories frequently take us to countryside locations, Lost Hearts and A View from a Hill for example, or isolated stretches of coast, such as in A Warning to the Curious. Though, in my mind this still doesn’t automatically equate with folk horror; sometimes there’s a more occultic feel to his fiction, such as with Casting the Runes or Number 13, or they may be straight tales of vengeance from beyond, like The Mezzotint and, most famously of all, Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad. Ultimately, I suppose it depends how you define folk horror, which is also a bit of a conundrum as opinions on that vary widely. To some, it must reverberate with archaic lore and pre-Christian tradition derived from the land and the turning year, whereas to others it’s all things rural, from standing stones and faerie rings to time-honoured village murder mysteries. To me, it’s simpler still: folk horror is horror fiction derived from recognisable folklore. There needs be nothing more to it than that. Even then, I can’t see an unavoidable link between folk horror and Jamesian horror. But that’s me being finickity, because, as I also said, they certainly make for very cosy bedfellows, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that Rosemary Pardoe has been able to raid the innumerable back-copies of Ghosts & Scholars for reprints and at the same time acquire some quality new fiction from modern Jamesian writers to put together this very effective and chilling anthology. In some stories, as you’d expect, James’ favorite theme of vengeful revenants is to the fore: in Geoffrey Warburton’s The Lane for example, where a simple grassy path appears to lead into another dimension controlled by an evil force that was summoned in times past, or in Chico Kidd’s Figures in a Landscape, where an investigation of some old Irish ruins leads to near-disaster. At the same time, in others we’re talking full florid folk horror. Philip Thompson’s Beatrix Paints a Landscape (1884), sees the Lake District’s most famous resident encounter a menacing woodland entity – the polar opposite of the friendly Lakeland creatures she so lovingly wrote about and drew, in Carole Tyrrell’s Lorelei we’re concerned with a village well, the dark goddess dwelling at the bottom of it, and the terrible effect she has on those who hear her call, while in SA Rennnie’s Out of the Water, Out of the Ground, one of several truly excellent stories contained herein, we face the full terror of what it would mean to be at war with the little people. This of course is a key factor in any work of horror fiction: how highly did it score on the scareometer? In that regard, The Ghosts & Scholars Book of Folk Horror is pretty satisfactory. As I’ve already mentioned, Out of the Water, Out of the Ground is especially frightening, but Michael Chislett gets us there too with Meeting Mr Ketchum, in which a hot Lammas Day sees two youngsters casually disturb an East Anglian tumulus, which unfortunately for them, is not undefended, while in CE Ward’s The Spinney, a deceptively simple tale, a motorist stranded in the Derbyshire wilds is inexplicably pursued across a desolate landscape by two increasingly menacing figures. Possibly the two scariest stories in the entire book, however, are traceable back to my native Northwest: Christopher Harman’s genuinely bone-chilling Sisters Rise, which is centred around an eerie megalith on a lonely Lancashire hillside, and Ramsey Campbell’s short but effective The Burning, set in the depths of urban Liverpool on a cold Bonfire Night. Campbell needs no introduction of horror aficionados, of course, but The Burning is a particularly strong entry because, despite its brevity, it examines the brutal origins of November 5th, the mob mentality of sectarian violence and the victimising of the innocent. It’s no surprise that we get such an intelligent message from Campbell, but there are other entries in the book that are equally thought-provoking. Gail-Nina Anderson’s intriguing Variant Versions follows the quest to pin down the truth about an obscure rural ballad, the author balancing the scare factor, which is very subtle, with a genuine academic enquiry into the feminist origins of old country tales. In The Walls, meanwhile, by the ever-reliable Terry Lamsley (whose valuable contributions to the genre sadly seem to have ended years ago now), an attempt to investigate an old lead mine invokes a very different and unusual kind of entity, while in The Valley of Achor, Helen Grant takes us to the Perthshire wilderness, where an ancient pagan site has found a unique and disturbing way to reclaim itself from the new religion imposed on it during the Christian conversion. There are other stories in the book which I haven’t yet mentioned, but that’s basically because we’re out of room. Put it this way, none disappoint. This is a lively and engaging anthology, filled with often gentle and yet hair-raising tales. What it eschews in terms of excessive blood and guts, it more than makes up for in its intelligence and its undoubted style, and of course, in its air of creeping dread. I feel sure that Dr James would have been delighted to get involved.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carole Tyrrell

    A Ghost & Scholars Book of Folk Horror Folk Horror is a very English strand of storytelling and heavily feature the English landscape. But it also embraces many differing aspects of this from nature, myths, ghosts and rituals amongst others. A quick scroll through on the Folk Horror facebook page will give you an idea of the breadth of what it can encompass and I have been introduced to several rituals, musicians and image-makers and books through it. Ro Pardoe, editor of the Ghosts and Scholars m A Ghost & Scholars Book of Folk Horror Folk Horror is a very English strand of storytelling and heavily feature the English landscape. But it also embraces many differing aspects of this from nature, myths, ghosts and rituals amongst others. A quick scroll through on the Folk Horror facebook page will give you an idea of the breadth of what it can encompass and I have been introduced to several rituals, musicians and image-makers and books through it. Ro Pardoe, editor of the Ghosts and Scholars magazine and also the editor of this book, set a task to authors and readers. This was to write a pre-quel to one of MR James stories from a selection. This has already produced 2 earlier books based on this and this one contains 10 of them with 7 new stories specially written for it. Setting and authors are varied and stories are set in locations such as Wiltshire, Greece and Scotland. There are some authors who are new to me and like other collections there are some stories that you prefer to others, It begins with Michael Chislett’s Meeting Mr Ketchum which I loved for its unsettling atmosphere and terrifying ending. A couple, Kevin and Fuchsia are out on an afternoon drive when they make the mistake of stopping off at a mound. A mysterious person is waiting to meet them…Also enjoyed The Spinney by C E Ward in which an unfortunate man’s car breaks down and he encounters a couple who are determined to do him harm and another stand-out was Figures in a Landscape by Chico Kidd. But this was only on a first reading and I’m sure that this is a book that I will enjoy even more on repeated readings through the dark season as the nights become shorter. It’s the usual elegant production from Sarob Press with an enigmatic cover from Paul Lowe. There’s also a good introduction from Ro Pardoe. This is a great collection which I recommend. And not just because I have a story in it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Russell

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Dodsworth

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Fulton

  8. 4 out of 5

    Moudry

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Mcgachey

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adam Clark

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  12. 4 out of 5

    Redrighthand

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sirensongs

  14. 4 out of 5

    Demeter

  15. 4 out of 5

    David

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andyhat

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andy Paciorek

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brook

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard Hing

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  21. 4 out of 5

    G.B. Jones

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kriss

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ekel Adolf

  25. 5 out of 5

    David Dunbar

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Hasbrouck

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fierce

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Chapman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Autoclette

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  31. 4 out of 5

    Killian

  32. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Uminsky

  33. 4 out of 5

    Canavan

  34. 4 out of 5

    Andy

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