I approached Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook without a forensic eye, I wanted to be entertained and to see what a good short ghost story could do. Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book has ratings and 20 reviews. Bill said: My first reading of “Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook” will always hold a special place i. Ruth Rendell doesn’t believe in ghosts, of course, but MR James’s stories, like ‘ Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook’, frighten her nonetheless.

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I assure you — far more.

Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book

The last word appeared to be added as an afterthought and to bring with it a relapse into gloom for the poor little man. Primum uidi nocte alebric mi Dec.

Bertrandus liberavit hominem quem diabolus diu volebat strangulare. James is the master of the English ghost story, whose tales are inhabited not by ethereal spirits, but by terrifying, palpable forces of evil.

Most enjoyable was looking up stuff scrapbokk the actual cathedral where the book was set. At one point he hears the laugh of a “thin metallic voice” from high up in the tower. They sit up with him for the rest of the night. The scrapbook and the Revolution: It really seemed as if he had rendered the father and daughter some service which they hardly knew how to repay. On the pavement before the throne were grouped four soldiers, surrounding a crouching figure which must be described in a moment.

For instance, if the trouble was tied to the book and its ownership, why was the sacristan afraid to leave Dennistoun alone in the church? But again this is a scrapboook herring, as the real horror lays within the pages of a book.

The man knows his atmosphere. The left half of the picture was the strangest, however.


The interest plainly centred there. He was examining a large dark picture that hangs behind the altar, one of a series illustrating the miracles of St Bertrand.

The verger, however, refuses to take any more money for it. Something of the character of an oratory was imparted to it by a tall crucifix, which reached almost to the ceiling on one side; the figure was painted of the natural colours, the cross was black. So monsieur turned on, meeting new treasures at every rise of a leaf; and at the end of the book he came upon two sheets of paper, of much more recent date than anything he had seen yet, which puzzled him considerably.

I saw it first on the night of Dec. Whatever it was, it resulted in a conviction that there was someone behind him, and that he was far more comfortable with his back to the wall. And after all it’s curious that the sacristan didn’t just burn it himself.

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by M. R. James : Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book

It doesn’t initially seem likely to chill, but in character of the scdapbook he’s excellent at bringing out the terror. One of James’ most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings.

Realizing the enormous historical value of the scrapbook, Dennistoun offers to buy it from the verger. At the hotel, Dennistoun tells the landlady that albeic has bought an old book from the verger.

Perhaps the sacristan is supposed to be a descendant of Canon A. I have my play all this weekend, but will have this read by Monday at the latest.

Ruth Rendell reads ‘Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook’ by MR James

Deluded or guilty conscience or henpecked? He himself, though still shaken and nervous, was almost himself by that time, and his story found credence with them, though not until they had seen the drawing and talked with the sacristan. But in another minute they were in the sitting-room of the house, a small, high chamber with a stone floor, full of moving shadows cast by a wood-fire that flickered on a great hearth.


Things are often described twice to different effect.

The “ghost stories” were extraordinary but personally, I didn’t like the style in which they were written. Open Preview See a Problem? Even when the one with the hair made an appearance I didn’t find it particularly strong. And, though the drawing he saw is no longer in existence, there is a photograph of it which I possess a,beric fully bears out that statement. Happy post Independence Day to my fellow Americans, and hello everyone!

A few remarks passed between father and daughter of which Dennistoun only caught these words, said by the sacristan: The left half of the picture was the strangest, however. All this terror was plainly excited by the being that crouched in their midst. But in another minute they were in the sitting-room of the house, a small, high chamber with a stone floor, full of moving shadows cast by a wood-fire that flickered on a great hearth.

That said, I’ve been half-hoping one of you would come back at me with, “You’re missing half of it – this happens because of that, and that because of the other”! It is a great marble erection with an effigy of the Canon in a large wig and soutane, csrapbook an elaborate eulogy of his learning below.

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