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The Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James Published in 1931, Printed in 1949 Edward Arnold & Co London

The Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James Published in 1931, Printed in 1949 Edward Arnold & Co London

Probably the very finest book of ingenious yet disturbing ghost stories ever written.
Montague Rhodes James, who used the publication name M.R. James, was a noted British mediaeval scholar & provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–18) & of Eton College (1918–36). He's best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature. One of James' most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings.
the stories contained are;
"Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book"
"Lost Hearts"
"The Mezzotint"
"The Ash Tree"
"Number 13"
"Count Magnus"
"'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad'"
"The Treasure of Abbot Thomas"
"A School Story"
"The Rose Garden"
"The Tractate Middoth"
"Casting the Runes"
"The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral"
"Martin's Close"
"Mr Humphreys and His Inheritance"
"The Residence at Whitminster"
"The Diary of Mr Poynter"
"An Episode of Cathedral History"
"The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance"
"Two Doctors"
"The Haunted Dolls' House"
"The Uncommon Prayer-Book"
"A Neighbour's Landmark"
"A View from a Hill"
"A Warning to the Curious"
"An Evening's Entertainment"
"Wailing Well"
"There Was a Man Dwelt by a Churchyard"
"After Dark in the Playing Fields"
plus " Stories i have tried to write"

According to James, the story must "put the reader into the position of saying to himself, 'If I'm not very careful, something of this kind may happen to me!'" He also perfected the technique of narrating supernatural events through implication and suggestion, letting his reader fill in the blanks, and focusing on the mundane details of his settings and characters in order to throw the horrific and bizarre elements into greater relief. He summed up his approach in his foreword to the anthology Ghosts and Marvels: "Two ingredients most valuable in the concocting of a ghost story are, to me, the atmosphere and the nicely managed crescendo. ... Let us, then, be introduced to the actors in a placid way; let us see them going about their ordinary business, undisturbed by forebodings, pleased with their surroundings; and into this calm environment let the ominous thing put out its head, unobtrusively at first, and then more insistently, until it holds the stage."

He also noted: "Another requisite, in my opinion, is that the ghost should be malevolent or odious: amiable and helpful apparitions are all very well in fairy tales or in local legends, but I have no use for them in a fictitious ghost story."

Despite his suggestion (in the essay "Stories I Have Tried to Write") that writers employ reticence in their work, many of James's tales depict scenes and images of savage and often disturbing violence. For example, in "Lost Hearts", pubescent children are taken in by a sinister dabbler in the occult who cuts their hearts from their still-living bodies. In a 1929 essay, James stated:

Reticence may be an elderly doctrine to preach, yet from the artistic point of view, I am sure it is a sound one. Reticence conduces to effect, blatancy ruins it, and there is much blatancy in a lot of recent stories. They drag in sex too, which is a fatal mistake; sex is tiresome enough in the novels; in a ghost story, or as the backbone of a ghost story, I have no patience with it. At the same time don't let us be mild and drab. Malevolence and terror, the glare of evil faces, 'the stony grin of unearthly malice', pursuing forms in darkness, and 'long-drawn, distant screams', are all in place, and so is a modicum of blood, shed with deliberation and carefully husbanded; the weltering and wallowing that I too often encounter merely recall the methods of M G Lewis.
The condition overall is good with commensurate wear for age, with its original cover, although the original cover does have a tear and a small section over the spine lacking. It bears the original 1949 owners name on the inner blank page.

Code: 23812

495.00 GBP

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Ghosts over England Hardcover, Ist Edition Including our Brighton Ghosts– 1 Jan. 1953 by Margery Hopkins, R Thurston Foreword by Lawrence (Author)

Ghosts over England Hardcover, Ist Edition Including our Brighton Ghosts– 1 Jan. 1953 by Margery Hopkins, R Thurston Foreword by Lawrence (Author)

Collection of hauntings throughout the English countryside. With a chapter pertinent to us, of the ghosts that wander and inhabit Brighton and The Lanes.

Robert Thurston Hopkins (1884-1958) was a prolific author. He wrote topographical works, ghost stories and more, including biographical works on Oscar Wilde, H G Wells and Rudyard Kipling
Hopkins wrote biographical works on Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde. He also wrote books on the English countryside.

Hopkins was a ghost hunter known for his books on ghosts. He described his experiences in his book Adventures with Phantoms (1946). He claimed to have encountered the ghost of a hanged man in a woodland near Burwash on two occasions in the 1930s

Code: 23807

120.00 GBP

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A Stunning, Historical, Norman, King Stephen of England period Single-Handed Knight's Sword 12th century AD, Used In the Early Crusades Era

A Stunning, Historical, Norman, King Stephen of England period Single-Handed Knight's Sword 12th century AD, Used In the Early Crusades Era

A hand-forged iron knight's sword with slender blade and shallow fuller to each face, shallow point, gently curved rectangular-section cross guard, broad flat-section tang; the original pommel has been replaced by a plain domed type, perhaps Oakeshott's designated Type B.1 pommel. 12th-early 13th century, used in the early Crusades Period by Knights, such as the Knights of Jerusalem the Knights Templar, Knights of St John, made from time of King Stephen, and used into the times of King Henry the IInd, and King Richard the Ist. Made around the time of the reign of the Norman king, King Stephen,
Stephen of Blois, King of England who reigned from 22 December 1135 till 1154..
He was Count of Boulogne, from 1125 until 1147, and Duke of Normandy from 1135 until 1144. His reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda, whose son, Henry II, succeeded Stephen as the first of the Angevin kings of England. The first of the Plantagenets,
Henry the II 1154-1189. Henry of Anjou was a most strong king, and a brilliant soldier, and he thus extended his French lands until he ruled most of France. He laid the foundation of the English Jury System and raised new taxes (scutage) from the landholders to pay for a militia force. Henry is mostly remembered for his quarrel with Thomas Becket, and Becket’s subsequent murder in Canterbury Cathedral on 29th December 1170. His sons turned against him, even his favourite John. A very small portion of his reign was depicted in the film ‘The Lion in Winter’ starring Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn. It was a remarkable depiction of the latter part of his reign which showed with great aplomb the relationship between him, his wife the Queen of Anjou and his sons Geoffrey, John and Richard,[played by Anthony Hopkins] his eventual successor, King Richard Ist [The Lionheart] 1189 – 1199
Richard was the third son of Henry II. By the age of 16, he was leading his own army putting down rebellions in France. Although crowned King of England, Richard spent all but 6 months of his reign abroad, preferring to use the taxes from his kingdom to fund his various armies and military ventures. He was the leading Christian commander during the Third Crusade. On his way back from Palestine, Richard was captured and held for ransom. The amount paid for his safe return almost bankrupt the country. Richard died from an arrow-wound, far from the kingdom that he so rarely visited. He had no children. . Incredibly swords of this time, providing they stayed within the ancestral family of the knights for whom it was originally made in the 1100s, could still have been used up to and including the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Sword design had not changed a great deal in that time and if an English knight had had a famous ancestor from several generations before using the sword, it is easily conceivable that he would continue to use it in combat into the 15 century. The Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. The battle took place on 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day) in the County of Saint-Pol, Artois, some 40 km south of Calais. Along with the battles of Crécy (1346) and Poitiers (1356), it was one of the most important English triumphs in the conflict. England's victory at Agincourt against a numerically superior French army crippled France, and started a new period in the war during which the English began enjoying great military successes.

After several decades of relative peace, the English had renewed their war effort in 1415 amid the failure of negotiations with the French. In the ensuing campaign, many soldiers perished due to disease and the English numbers dwindled, but as they tried to withdraw to English-held Calais they found their path blocked by a considerably larger French army. Despite the disadvantage, the following battle ended in an overwhelming tactical victory for the English.

King Henry V of England led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. The French king of the time, Charles VI, did not command the French army himself, as he suffered from severe psychotic illnesses with moderate mental incapacitation. Instead, the French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.

This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in very large numbers, with the English and Welsh archers forming up to 80 percent of Henry's army. The decimation of the French cavalry at their hands is regarded as an indicator of the decline of cavalry and the beginning of the dominance of ranged weapons on the battlefield.

Agincourt is one of England's most celebrated victories. The battle is the centrepiece of the play Henry V by Shakespeare. Juliet Barker in her book Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle ( published in 2005) argues the English and Welsh were outnumbered "at least four to one and possibly as much as six to one". She suggests figures of about 6,000 for the English and 36,000 for the French, based on the Gesta Henrici's figures of 5,000 archers and 900 men-at-arms for the English, and Jean de Wavrin's statement "that the French were six times more numerous than the English". The 2009 Encyclopædia Britannica uses the figures of about 6,000 for the English and 20,000 to 30,000 for the French.

Formerly the property of a private family; previously acquired from a collection formed before 1990; thence by descent.
Cf. Oakeshott, E., Records of the Medieval Sword, Woodbridge, 1991, item Xa.8, for type. 85cm (33 1/2" long). Jolly fair condition, very good for age..

Code: 23251

10250.00 GBP

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An 18th Century Irish Root Wood Cudgel, Shillelagh

An 18th Century Irish Root Wood Cudgel, Shillelagh

A shillelagh is a wooden walking stick and club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob at the top, that is associated with Ireland and Irish folklore. Most also have a hlarge knob for a handle which can be used for striking as well as parrying and disarming an opponent. Many shillelaghs also have a strap attached (hence the Irish name), similar to commercially made walking sticks, to place around the holder's wrist. The name, an Anglophone corruption of the Irish saill éalaigh, appears to have become convolved with that of the village and barony in County Wicklow.

The shillelagh was originally used for settling disputes in a gentlemanly manner like pistols in colonial America, or the katana in Japan. Modern practitioners of bataireacht study the use of the shillelagh for self defence and as a martial art. Methods of shillelagh fighting have evolved over a period of thousands of years, from the spear, staff, axe and sword fighting of the Irish. There is some evidence which suggests that the use of Irish stick weapons may have evolved in a progression from a reliance on long spears and wattles, to shorter spears and wattles, to the shillelagh, alpeen, blackthorn (walking-stick) and short cudgel. By the 19th century Irish shillelagh-fighting had evolved into a practice which involved the use of three basic types of weapons, sticks which were long, medium or short in length. Some were heavy or medium weight other quite light, [likely the lighter version was made if it was to be carried on a daily basis] this is a lighter weight version.

Code: 17267

395.00 GBP

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A Superb 1822 Pattern French Light Cavalry Sabre, In Near Mint Condition.

A Superb 1822 Pattern French Light Cavalry Sabre, In Near Mint Condition.

It would likely be impossible to ever see a better example. This Light Cavalry 1822 Pattern was carried by all French light cavalry, Horse Chasseurs, Hussars, Lancers, Horse Artillery, Spahis, Goumiers and used in all campaigns from the Mexican expeditions to the Crimean wars, the colonial wars in North Africa and WW1, for more than 100 years. On January 18, 1822, the Committee of cavalry decided unanimously in favour of a curved sword for the entire Light Cavalry, using a Montmorency type blade.The curved blade has a wide fuller on each side to within 160 mm from the point and a thin 550 mm fuller on each side near the back edge which is engraved Manu. d'Armes de Chattll Avril 1876 = Cavalerie Mle 1822. Also used in WW1.The charge of the French Light Cavalry against the Germans on the road to Lassigny (a village between Montvidier and Noyon in France) during World War One in 1914. No scabbard

Code: 23978

395.00 GBP

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A Superb Near Mint WW1 Imperial German to Third Reich Era Dress Sidearm Made by WKC

A Superb Near Mint WW1 Imperial German to Third Reich Era Dress Sidearm Made by WKC

Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie was the amalgamation of two very old Solingen family companies in 1883. Both companies had had their own trademark. For Weyersburg it was King's head and for Kirschbaum it was a Knight's head. Before the regulation 1933 pattern Holbein dress SS Dagger was designed, the Imperial Heer dress sidearm, with stylized eagle head pommel, bright steel finish with black grip and black scabbard, was the dagger of choice for enlisted men when walking out, and this dagger continued to be worn by men right into the war period, by both Heer and SS.. Made by WKC. Solingen. Mint blade, near mint hilt, excellent scabbard with unusual triangle inspection stamp at the throat. this is an absolute beauty.

Code: 23977

245.00 GBP

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A Fabulous Quality WW2 Kriegsmarine Deluxe Officers Dagger with Hanging Straps

A Fabulous Quality WW2 Kriegsmarine Deluxe Officers Dagger with Hanging Straps

High quality deluxe hammered scabbard version exactly as was used by numerous Admirals in the German Navy of WW2. A near mint example that could likely not be improved upon. The blade is perfectly plain, and curiously that is much scarcer and rarer than the regular etched blade version. The standard scabbard was the lightning bolt type, the deluxe version was hand hammered. The silk and velvet backed straps are mounted with gilded alloy lions head buckles and fittings. A German naval dirk once used by a Kriegsmarine warship and U Boat officer. Original ivorine grip and wire binding, blade in jolly nice condition. The hammered scabbard was initialy first used on the Imperial German Naval Ist pattern dagger of 1902, but was a firm favourite of officers of nobility and status who served in WW2 using this second pattern with the eagle and swastika pommel, and could afford the additional expence. The Kriegsmarine [War Navy] was the name of the Navy of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It superseded the Imperial German Navy of World War I and the inter-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany.

The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly during German naval rearmament in the 1930s (the Treaty of Versailles had limited the size of the German navy previously). In January 1939 Plan Z was ordered, calling for the construction of many naval vessels. The ships of the Kriegsmarine fought during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. The Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine (as for all branches of armed forces during the period of absolute Nazi power) was Adolf Hitler, who exercised his authority through the Oberkommando der Marine.

The Kriegsmarine's most famous ships were the U-boats, most of which were constructed after Plan Z was abandoned at the beginning of World War II. Wolfpacks were rapidly assembled groups of submarines which attacked British convoys during the first half of the Battle of the Atlantic but this tactic was largely abandoned in the second half of the war. Along with the U-boats, surface commerce raiders (including auxiliary cruisers) were used to disrupt Allied shipping in the early years of the war, the most famous of these being the heavy cruisers Graf Spee and Admiral Scheer and the battleship Bismarck. However, the adoption of convoy escorts, especially in the Atlantic, greatly reduced the effectiveness of commerce raiders against convoys.

Code: 21150

1895.00 GBP

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The Lanes Armoury..Everything You Can Imagine, and a Lot, Lot More!

The Lanes Armoury..Everything You Can Imagine, and a Lot, Lot More!

Original pieces from the great ancient civilisations, Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Scythian, Persian, Roman, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Norman, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, British, and beyond, in fact more antiquities, armoury antiques, militaria, that you can imagine, plus leaves from illuminated manuscripts, rare and historical books, incunabula and Ist editions

We may not quite have everything that everyone might be seeking, but you can trust that we have spent over 100 years trying, and every day we do our utmost to scour the collecting world to find yet more, unique ancient or antique pieces. We put in all the hard work, effort and expertise, so that you don't have to!, and remember, every purchase is accompanied with our Certificate of Authenticity, as our unique, lifetime guarantee, backed up by over 100 years of long established experience.

We are asked almost every day by many of our amazed and curious visitors about famous celebrities that have been customers past and present, so here goes, but just a snippet of a few mixed up names that Mark has personally assisted since 1970, and David since 1980, but of course there are many that our younger viewers will very likely have never even heard of!;

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, actors
Charlton 'Chuck' Heston, actor
Edward G. Robinson, actor, recommended by 'Chuck'
HRH Princess Margaret, late sister of HM Queen
'Fat Boy' Slim, aka Norman Cook, songwriter +
Ronald Reagan, yes, that Ronald Reagan, Potus
John Osborne, author [he wasn't young though, and certainly not angry!!]
Lord Olivier a well beloved Brighton resident, and the greatest actor to have ever lived.
Barry Humphries, genius of limitless talent, retired, currently a columnist, The Oldie Magazine
Garfield [Garry] Weston, proprietor of Fortnum and Mason, chairman Associated British Foods and of the Garfield Weston Foundation
John Montgomery, author
Johnny Rotten, singer and armed forces supporter
The Tower Armouries, museum
Octav Botnar Chairman, &. Late Owner Nissan UK formerly Datsun UK
Katy Melua, singer songwriter
Will Young, singer
Mark Williams, character actor par excellence
Sir Ralph Richardson, the iconic English eccentric gentleman and actor
Jim Davidson major armed services charities benefactor,
Warner Bros. UK, movies, tv etc.
Sir Henry Cecil One of the world's greatest horse trainers
Macy’s New York Department Store
Rebekkah Brooks & Ross Kemp in their past to-gether days, journalist and actor
Major General Lord Fitzalen Howard Life Guards GCVO, CB, CBE, MC
Steven Berkoff, actor, playwright, theatre director
Galeria Kaufhof GmbH German department store chain
Adriana Papiri-Brignoni late foremost gallery proprietor of Switzerland [with her husband Gigi], a friend and interior decorator for us to such Italian collectors as movie star Gina Lollobrigida and fashion designer Valentino
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche (Jigme Namgyel), renown Buddhist and author.....
Plus, many thousands more...

Code: 23976


A Spectacular Beautiful 'Harvey' British Dragoon Basket Hilted Sword, Culloden Period, With Large King George's Crown & Cypher Engraved Blade Museum Grade Example

A Spectacular Beautiful 'Harvey' British Dragoon Basket Hilted Sword, Culloden Period, With Large King George's Crown & Cypher Engraved Blade Museum Grade Example

As used by the Scot's Dragoon's and the 7th Queens Dragoons, in fact all the British heavy dragoons in the 1740's up to 1790's. From the Battle of Culloden until the American Revolutionary War in the 1770's. Likely made by the world famous English blade maker of his day, Samuel Harvey, and bearing the royal GR Cypher of King George. The Harvey surname was one of the marks of renown Birmingham maker, Samuel Harvey, 1718-1778, who supplied many basket hilted swords to the British Crown, mostly for use by Highland troops. This sword is marked with the surname alone, HARVEY below the Crown and Cypher [the overlapping monogram of GR] for King George. His more common mark was a running wolf, his other marks could be Harvey or S.Harvey. The fabulous basket hilt has the large oval ring insert, for the holding of the horses reins while gripping the sword when riding to battle, and part of the original buff hide basket liner. Wire bound fishskin grip, discoid pommel. The British dragoon regiments were a decisive force in the Battle of Culloden for example; At the close of the battle the stand by the Royal Ecossais may have given Charles Edward Stuart the time to make his escape. At the time when the Macdonald regiments were crumbling and fleeing the field, Stuart seems to have been rallying Perth's and Glenbuchat's regiments when O'Sullivan rode up to Captain Shea who commanded Stuart's bodyguard: "Yu see all is going to pot. Yu can be of no great succor, so before a general deroute wch will soon be, Seize upon the Prince & take him off ". Shea then led Stuart from the field along with Perth's and Glenbuchat's regiments. From this point on the fleeing Jacobite forces were split into two groups: the Lowland regiments retired in order southwards, making their way to Ruthven Barracks; the Highland regiments however were cut off by the government cavalry, and forced to retreat down the road to Inverness. The result was that they were a perfect target for the government dragoons. Major-general Humphrey Bland led the charge against the fleeing Highlanders, giving "Quarter to None but about Fifty French Officers and Soldiers He picked up in his Pursuit". The basket hilted sword of this very form and character were used by British heavy dragoons for several decades, importantly in the American Revolutionary war. There is a near identical sword by Harvey, bearing the same form of maker mark and crown GR in a collection of American War of Independence weaponry featured in "Swords and Blades of the American Revolution" by George C. Neumann. Page 148 sword 261s
The shortage of cavalry in the Revolutionary War was a major drawback for the British. A strong cavalry presence at battles like Long Island and Brandywine could have enabled the British to encircle the Americans and prevent their retreat. It is possible that a strong cavalry force would have captured Washington's army entirely during the march south through New Jersey in 1776. This is the form of sword used by the Scot's Greys Dragoons in the 7 Years War against France, and by the 7th Queen's Dragoons. One of the earliest basket-hilted swords was recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose, an English warship lost in 1545. Before the find, the earliest positive dating had been two swords from around the time of the English Civil War. At first the wire guard was a simple design but as time passed it became increasingly sculpted and ornate. During the 18th century, the fashion of duelling in Europe focused on the lighter smallsword, and fencing with the broadsword came to be seen as a speciality of Scotland. A number of fencing manuals teaching fencing with the Scottish broadsword were published throughout the 18th century. Portraits from the time show this very sword as worn.

Code: 21608

3995.00 GBP

Shortlist item
A Very Good 19th Century, Early Victorian, English Cut Steel Small Sword

A Very Good 19th Century, Early Victorian, English Cut Steel Small Sword

A most stylish, regency style, all steel hilt with cut steel so-called 'nail head' decor in engraved and chiselled star pattern form, double edged diamond shaped blade. The small sword or small sword is a light one-handed sword designed for thrusting which evolved out of the longer and heavier rapier of the late Renaissance. The height of the small sword's popularity was between mid 17th and late 18th century, and continued as de rigueur as the full court dress sword, when in the presence of the monarch, even to this day at the court of St. James. It is thought to have appeared in France and spread quickly across the rest of Europe. The small sword was the immediate predecessor of the French duelling sword (from which the epee developed) and its method of use as typified in the works of such authors as Sieur de Liancour, Domenico Angelo, Monsieur J. Olivier, and Monsieur L'Abbat developed into the techniques of the French classical school of fencing. Small swords were also used as status symbols and fashion accessories; for most of the 18th century anyone, civilian or military, with pretensions to gentlemanly status would have worn a small sword on a daily basis.
The small sword could be a highly effective duelling weapon, and some systems for the use of the bayonet were developed using the method of the small sword as their foundation; Alfred Hutton, an English officer of the King's Dragoon Guards, wrote extensively on self-defence techniques based on the short sword-bayonet. The very height of the small sword's widespread popularity was (as mentioned above) between the middle of the 17th and the late 18th century, when it was considered fashionable by aristocrats ("no gentleman was dressed without his sword" .
The Small sword was a thrusting-only weapon developed in France in the second half of the 17th century. The hilt consisted of a small shell- or disc-shaped guard much smaller than the hilt of the Renaissance rapier, and blade was relatively short and light, usually triangular or diamond-section, although double-edged flat small sword blades continued to be popular well into the 18th century. Old surface pitting to the blade, the hilt is blemish free.

Code: 21716

545.00 GBP

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