3. …and so to the Ghost Story

There is now an amended publication date for Narratives of Enclosure, it will now appear on 30th September.  I don’t think there will be any further re-scheduling.

In the meantime I am progressing with the research for what I hope will be my second book.  I have been re-reading the ghost stories of that generation of writers contemporary with and following M R James.  The collections by the Benson Bros., Onions, E G Swain, Sir Arthur Gray, Blackwood, A M Burrage and Amyas Norhtcote constitute a golden age of the ghost story and particularly its English form.  Intriguingly this period overlaps in part another more familiar Golden Age that of the detective story.  It is fascinating to gauge how these two genres intertwine and inform each other.  The least familiar of these writers to me is Amyas Northcote whose stories I read many years ago but had all but forgotten.  Born of an aristocratic family he produced only one slim volume of tales entitled In Ghostly Company and died shortly after its publication in 1931.  Indifferently received at the time I now believe these elegiacally written pieces are some of the most atmospheric I have read – in particular ‘Brickett Bottom’, ‘In the Woods’ and ‘The Downs’ prove him to be an acute observer of landscape and the weight of history it carries.

July 23rd