Posted in Short Stories

M. R. James: A View From A Hill

Nor could you ask for a better place. Midsummer afternoon, shade and scent of a vast lime-tree, cool, swirling water within five yards. It was long before either of them suggested a move. But about six, Mr. Richards sat up, knocked out his pipe, and said: ‘Look here, it’s cool enough now to think of a stroll, if you’re inclined?’

M. R. James’ stories start out so pleasant and “A View From A Hill” is no different. But soon we are looking out of binoculars that are actually a dead man’s eyes. I have to say that this is one of the creepier stories I’ve read so far but its also one of the most fascinating.

What one sees and what one doesn’t see take on new meaning here. Perhaps James is even attempting to pit the naturalist and the supernaturalist against each other?

Then the butler tells a story to wrap up this story but things don’t exactly wrap up even if there are explanations.

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