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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A few remarks passed between father and daughter of which Dennistoun only caught these words, said by the sacristan: I darted an inquiring glance at my sacristan. Smee Reader rated it liked it Dec 30, And I expect to not be blown away, as a short ghost story has very little room to manoeuvre outside a straight up tale of the unexpected with or without twist. This page was last edited on 9 Octoberat The book is bought, Dennistoun takes it back to the inn and then is confronted by a spectre of the creature in the book.

Old Saint Sebastian and his spear, always a bit gung ho for my liking. It is thoroughly worthy of the passage quoted above.

Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. No, rather these stories have a detached, academic air, they are short designed to be read, or even acted out, aloud and as a rule built up slowly to a crescendo – like a piece of music, maybe?

The albeic English psalter: The door is opened by the verger’s daughter. The lower jaw was thin — what can I call it? It was time to ring the Angelus. The sacristan caretaker is a jumpy fellow, constantly a,beric the Englishman’s heels, looking over his shoulder. O Lord, make haste to help me.

He quoted to me once a text from Ecclesiasticus: They find him almost unconscious. At the hotel, Dennistoun tells the landlady that he has bought an old book from the verger.


Why should you trouble me? The picture in question was a sepia drawing at the end of the seventeenth century, representing, one would say at first sight, a Biblical scene; for the architecture the picture represented an interior and the figures had that semi-classical flavour about them which the artists of two hundred years ago thought appropriate to illustrations of the Bible. I’m probably going to get a decent edition of his stories at some point and, in the light of veil’s comment in 8, it will be quite interesting to look at the chronological order of the stories.

LibraryThing All topics Cano topics Book discussions.

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

That said, James also has a tendency to end his stories on rather, for lack of a better word, dry notes; after the climax or the horror is fully relevant, dealt with, etc, he often goes in for a sort of blase wind down that includes either needless exposition or, scapbook, a veiling or explaining-away of the story as something his narrator almost all of his stories are told in the first-person, though sometimes many times removed heard but doesn’t put much faith in, which is sort of He then notices that the verger is on his knees, staring at the painting with tears in his eyes.

What was Canon Alberic doing with a scrapbook scfapbook the first place. Later that evening, Dennistoun finds out why the canoj is happy to part with the book.

He suspects that another twenty pages in the scrapbook come from a manuscript that was believed to have been completely lost in the 12th century. But the story doesn’t seem to satisfactorily tie it all together – to me, at any rate.

This Alberic was a Canon of Comminges from to The story has a detailed and realistic setting in the tiny decaying cathedral city of Saint-Bertrand-de-Commingesat the foot of the Pyrenees in southern France. All this, of course, weighed light in the balance as against the obvious value of the collection he had acquired. Not really, though it does sum up a beautiful sense of albeeric and time.


Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by M. R. James

All for atmosphere of course, our hero lets call him Dennistoun — again a slippery non-specific technique around all this crystal clear description needs to be seen to be rational and unfazed by what we can see miles off. The drawing was photographed and then burnt by Dennistoun on the day albreic he left Comminges on the occasion of his first visit. It occurred to me that James could have made a much better story from the sacristan’s point of view.

Dec 25, Stephan Peters rated it really liked it. Almost at dawn the little man had come to the inn on some pretence, and had listened with the deepest interest to the story retailed by the landlady. But in another minute they were in the sitting-room of the cahon, a small, high chamber with a stone floor, full of moving shadows cast by a wood-fire that flickered on a great hearth. James freak I am having Pete scrapbbook at these through fresh eyes makes me a happy man.

Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book by M.R. James

Bertrand delivered a man whom the devil long sought to strangle. I wasn’t too enthralled by it either. And then I notice that I’d formed the intention of buying a collected M. However, it would be foolish not to go; he would reproach himself for ever after if he refused.

Arrived on his doorstep, the sacristan paused a moment. It is the hand of the creature from the last image in the scrapbook. Jun 03, Steven Lawrie rated it liked it. Does this kind of thing happen to anyone else? I read some of this albberic in full daylight and still felt chills running down my spine.