13 March, 2017

Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M.R. James

Happy to have been involved in the review process for Patrick Murphy's new book, Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M.R. James, for Penn State UP.

Here's what I wrote, and I recommend the book to all students of medievalism: “There are some seminal studies that have shed light on the genesis and development of medieval studies: Ulrich Wyss’s work on Jacob Grimm, Tom Shippey’s on J. R. R. Tolkien, and Michelle Warren’s on Joseph Bédier. Patrick Murphy’s book completes these other studies by telling the story of M. R. James, a fascinating medievalist forefather working at the exact moment of transition from English antiquarianism and extra-academic medievalist enthusiasms to a medieval studies almost entirely exclusive of writers, artists, and musicians. Murphy’s meticulously researched narrative provides ample proof that both enterprises, the creative and the scholarly reception of medieval culture, should not be viewed as mutually exclusive but richly symbiotic.”