Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories [Paperback]

Michael Cox , R. A. Gilbert
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $14.56  
Paperback, Feb. 18 2003 --  
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Feb. 18 2003
This selection of forty-two stories written between 1829 and 1968 is the first to present the full range and vitality of the English tradition of literary ghost fiction. Fully satisfying what Virginia Woolf called `the strange human craving for the pleasure of being afraid', it demonstrates the traditions historical development as well as its major themes, and characteristics. The fictional ghost story is dominated by English authors, from J. S. Le Fanu and M. R. James to Walter de laMare and Robert Aickman, and by American authors, such as Edith Wharton, writing in the English tradition. As the editors stress in their informative introduction, a good ghost story, though it may raise many profound questions about life and death, entertains as much as it unsettles us. Featuring such authors as Algernon Blackwood, H. Russell Wakefield, Henry James, and Elizabeth Bowen, this anthology combines a serious literary purpose with the plain intention of arousing pleasing fear at thedoings of the dead.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description


`handsome Oxford collection of spooks...plenty of flesh-creeping matter here' The Times

`The perfect book for long winter evenings of drawn curtains and flickering firelight.' Books and Bookmen

`an excellent cross-section of familiar and unfamiliar stories' New Statesman

`an excellent collection, varied and original' Susan Hill

`Some of the best and scariest ghost stories ever written' Emma Dally, Cosmopolitan

`a wonderful cross-section of the familiar and less well-known' Oxford Times

`Excellent collection of famous and less known authors illustrates the variety of this very English genre.' The Times

`All in all, this is a remarkably well-chosen selection.' David Holloway, Sunday Telegraph

`Entertaining, unsettling classics to read by firelight - if you dare.' Woman and Home

`excellent volume ... Readers can enjoy the cream of the 19th century ghost story and see for themselves how the genre developed.' Sara Hudston, Dorset Evening Echo

About the Author

Michael Cox is author of M.R. James (Oxford, 1983) and editor of a selection of anthologies including Victorian Ghost Stories, Victorian Dective Stories and The Oxford Book of Historical Short Stories. R.A. Gilbert is an antiquarian bookseller and author of A.E. Waite: A Bibliography (1983).

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
The horror genre is cluttered with hackwork, and imitations of hackwork--H.P. Lovecraft seems to have spawned a particularly virulent strain of the latter. However one of its subgenres, i.e. the ghost story seems to attract a better quality of writer--perhaps because a truly frightening tale of the returned dead is so difficult to write.
(Believe me, I've tried and after almost half a century of trying, have sold exactly one ghost story).
L. P. Hartley, who wrote "The Travelling Grave" and other great stories of the supernatural, described the ghost story as "certainly the most exacting form of literary art, and perhaps the only one in which there is almost no intermediate step between success and failure. Either it comes off or it is a flop."
Cox and Gilbert have collected mostly successes (and one or two flops) in "The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories" and its companion volume, "The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories." If you suffer from what Virginia Woolf called "the strange human craving for the pleasure of feeling afraid," both of these volumes will satisfy. Each contains a good mix of familiar and lesser-known ghost stories.
Here is a sampling from 'English Ghost Stories':
"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs -- A horrible variant on 'Be careful what you wish for. It might just come true.' This is a sad, frightening story--maybe 'the' perfect tale of the supernatural.
"The Confession of Charles Linkworth" by E.F. Benson -- A telephone call from a hanged man.
"Man-Size in Marble" by E. Nesbit -- An overly sweet Victorian marriage comes to a tragic end on All Saints' Eve.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
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 Mary Wilkins-Freeman's "The Lost Ghost," you'll find stories that will linger in your mind. Almost every story is of high literary quality as well as great entertainment. The anthology also shows how differently good writers can handle the stringent requirements of good supernatural tales. These tales are on the surface escapist fiction, but on closer study prove to address themes of life after death, guilt, fear, love, the effect of inner states on outward perception, and the struggles of the individual within society. Not every story will appeal to every reader, because there's such a wide range of styles. But I think every reader will find many to savor time and again.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection of Classic Western Ghost Stories Aug. 13 2002
By A Customer
This is a wonderful collection of ghost stories. Included are some of the classics of the genre. For instance, The "Monkey's Paw" (son is killed in an accident at work, parent wishes on creepy monkey's paw charm for son to come back to life, so please don't open the front door!) has been adapted a number of times for TV and film.
My personal favorite is probably "Smee," the quintessential between-the-wars British country house ghost story. Perhaps a scary little teleplay with Jeremy Irons, Hugh Grant and Judy Davis?
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghoulishly Good! July 2 2000
By C Jones
This superb book of classic ghost stories will literally make the hair rise on your arms. These tales are written by some of the world's best literary geniuses (Sir Walter Scott to name one). If you enjoy being spooked without the blood and gore of today's B rated horror book writers, you're guaranteed to love this classic collection!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully frightful! Jan. 22 2000
This is an excellent collection of ghost stories spanning from the 19th century to more modern times. Each and every story is highly enjoyable and frightening in the classic way which I find lacking in most ghost story books. I couldn't get enough!
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category