Watch the stalls of barchester online dating
background – a member of the academic staff at King’s College, where he had himself been a student – and his subsequent career as Provost of Eton between the wars, James was a pillar of his society’s establishment: a Victorian gentleman living the quiet, comfortable life of the bachelor don.
At Christmas, however, the genial scholar revealed a different side, mining the depths of his vivid imagination for weird tales with which to enthral his students and colleagues.
Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936): Born near Bury St Edmunds, a brilliant linguist, palaeographer, medievalist and biblical scholar, was successively provost of King's College, Cambridge and (from 1918) of Eton.
His memoirs, 'Eton and King's', were published in 1926.
The appeal of a good scare isn’t enough to explain it, though.
After all, ghouls and ghosts can be found in most corners of English literature, if you’re brave enough – or foolish enough – to seek them out.
However, it wasn’t officially part of the series, which began in earnest with 1971’s The Stalls Of Barchester.
The unluckiest among their number end up facing that prospect for eternity, of course; James’s endings range from the bleakly comical to the disastrous.Five more adaptations followed during the same decade, with James’s works creeping into the public imagination alongside other chilling tales like Charles Dickens’ truly haunting depiction of psychological trauma framed as a ghost story, The Signalman.Attempts to revive the tradition have been made on a number of occasions, most recently with Mark Gatiss’s deliciously unsettling version of The Tractate Middoth in 2013.A radical reworking of Whistle And I’ll Come To You in 2010 had previously demonstrated the flexibility of James’s techniques even when his story was transferred to the modern day, with the panicking professor of the original replaced by a lonely and grief-stricken husband (John Hurt) mourning the loss of his wife to dementia.What is it that keeps us coming back to James’s stories?