A Little Jasmine Book of M. R. James edited and illustrated by Stephen Jones
Signed, Numbered, Limited Edition Hardcover – Borderlands Press – 2022 – 140 pages
From Editor Jones’ Introduction:
Like Lovecraft, M. R. James only produced a relatively small body of work during his lifetime—so far as the supernatural genre is concerned, at least—but his stories have never been out of print since they were first published and today, more than ever, his work continues to shape the output of many new and established writers who still find inspiration in not only his themes, but also his subtle storytelling techniques.
In fact, as with Lovecraft, a whole industry has gradually built up around MRJ and his concepts, which continues to reverberate through horror fiction in the 21st century.
Also, like Lovecraft, MRJ had his own literary followers and disciples, who tried to follow in his fictional footsteps. Some of the best of these have come to be known as the “James Gang,” a term first coined by Mike Ashley back in 1988. These included, along with MRJ’s friends A. C. Benson and E. F. Benson, such authors as Arthur Gray, R. H. Malden, A.N.L. Munby, L.T.C. Rolt, E. G. Swain and H. Russell Wakefield.
More recent additions to this list include Peter Bell, Ramsey Campbell, John Gordon, John Howard, Reggie Oliver, John Llewellyn Probert, David A. Sutton, Mark Valentine, C.E. Ward and D.P. Watt, along with numerous others who continue to produce work in the MRJ tradition.
Despite writing a relatively small number of ghost stories, many of MRJ’s best-known tales have been widely adapted for television and radio. The first televised version of the authors’ work was Laurence Schwab’s “The Lost Will of Dr. Rant” (1951) starring Leslie Nielsen. An adaptation of “The Tractate Middoth,” it aired as part of the NBC series Lights Out.