M R James' A Vignette, his last ghost story
in The London Mercury, November 1936
First edition. Card covers. 25 × 17.5cm, viii + 100pp.
This is the November 1936 issue of the literary journal The London Mercury. This issue is famed for having the first publication of M R James' final ghost story, A Vignette. M R James had been commissioned by The Mercury to write a story similar in vein to his Ghost Stories of an Antiquary for the 1935 Christmas issue. When it came through, it was too late for publication then and the journal decided to hold it until later in 1936 when it was eventually printed five months after James' death. It is a typically Jamesian story, as a man recalls living in a rectory next to a wood (called the Plantation) that seems to exert a sinister influence on him and appears in his nightmares...
Along with the M R James, this issue also has articles, poems, reviews and illustrations and the contributors include Ralph Bates, Rose Macaulay, Conrad Aiken, Gwen Raverat etc
The covers are in poor condition. The back cover is missing and the edges are badly creased and chipped, as is the spine. However, the contents are in much better condition. Apart from the last two pages which have heavy edgewear, the main body of text is in good condition and in strong readable condition. M R James' 5 page vignette is in very good condition.Sold