ROBYN WILDER’S CHRISTMAS READ IS… COLLECTED GHOST STORIES
Before I had kids and moved out of London, what I’d like to do at Christmas-time is find the draughtiest, most Elizabethan-looking pub I could find and curl up in a corner of it with a book of MR James’ ghost stories. In Victorian times, the reading of ghost stories was a Christmas Eve tradition — and there are none scarier, nor more festive, than those of MR James. During his time as a Cambridge don, he would gather revellers by the fireside and recite tales of being pursued across a winter beach by unseen evil (Whistle And I’ll Come To You); a lurking, cobweb-covered ghost (The Tractate Middoth); and the discovery of a mysterious, ominous crown (A Warning To The Curious). Because Christmas isn’t Christmas, for me, unless I have a mince pie in my hand and a chill up my spine.
• BUY Collected Ghost Stories on Amazon or pop in to your local bookshop.