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The Room Opposite: And Other Tales of Mystery and Imagination
F. M. Mayor
In 1935, Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd. published The Room Opposite: And Other Tales of Mystery and Imagination by F. M. Mayor, a collection of sixteen tales that had been left unpublished at the author's death. It was issued with a recommendation from no less eminent a critic of ghost stories than M. R. James, who wrote, 'The stories in this volume which introduce the supernatural commend themselves to me very strongly.' Secondhand copies of the first edition are incredibly hard to come by, and the book has never been republished... until now. This new edition contains all sixteen stories, along with a long article which originally appeared in The Queen newspaper in 1905 entitled 'Life in a Touring Company'. This edition also includes an introduction by Gina R. Collia: 'F. M. Mayor: Author, Actress & Champion of the Superfluous Woman'.
Published: 1 April 2023.
Hardback with dust jacket, 22.86mm x 15.24cm (6" x 9"), 406 pages.
F. M. Mayor: Author, Actress & Champion of the Superfluous Woman • The Room Opposite • The Kind Action of Mr. Robinson • Letters from Manningfield • Tales of Widow Weeks • Fifteen Charlotte Street • The Unquiet Grave • Christmas Night at Almira • In the ‘Bus, Mother and Daughter • Innocents’ Day • A Season of the Sceptre • The Lounge at the Royal • The Dead Lady • Miss de Mannering of Asham • “There Shall Be Light at thy Death” • Le Spectre de la Rose • Life in a Touring Company.
Some Reviews for the 1935 Edition
'This is a collection of tales of mystery and horror, and Miss Mayor has managed to preserve a curiously delicate atmosphere. They happened yesterday, either in an old street or in some quiet backwater into which sometimes ordinary people stray. You are not asked to believe too much; just to listen to this gentle, almost artless, telling of the story. Nevertheless it is hard not to believe, and in that lies Miss Mayor’s achievement.' Birmingham Weekly Mercury, 1935.
'Here is a collection of tales of mystery and imagination which, without setting out to arouse the mind of the reader to a pitch of horror and hair-raising thrill, yet succeeds in doing so.' Montrose Standard, 1935.
'They are written with a quiet forcefulness which somehow succeeds in conveying a sense of the uncanny, sometimes of sheer horror, in natural, everyday surroundings.' Aberdeen Press and Journal, 1935.
From the front flap of the 1935 edition:
These “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” are written with a quiet forcefulness, which—without having recourse to exaggeration—conveys to the full a sense of horror in perfectly natural surroundings.
‘The stories in this volume which introduce the supernatural commend themselves to me very strongly.’ M. R. James
Full dust jacket for the new Nezu Press edition
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