Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book
|"Canon Alberic's Scrap-book"|
Illustration by James McBryde
|Genre(s)||Horror short story|
"Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book" is the first story in the first collection of ghost stories published by M. R. James, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. The volume appeared in 1904, but "Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book" was written in 1894 and published soon afterwards in the National Review.
The story has a detailed and realistic setting in the tiny decaying cathedral city of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, at the foot of the Pyrenees in southern France. An English tourist spends a day photographing the interior of the eponymous cathedral and is encouraged by the sacristan to buy an unusual manuscript. This, he concludes, had been created long ago, by canon Albéric de Mauléon (an invented character, said to be a collateral descendant of the real 16th century bishop Jean de Mauléon), who had cut up volumes in the old cathedral library. A disturbing illustration in the back of the book is a key to the story's suspenseful arc.
- The full text of Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book at Wikisource
- Media related to Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book at Wikimedia Commons
- Full text of "Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book"
- Helen Grant, "'He was laughing in the church': A Visit to St Bertrand de Comminges" in Ghosts & Scholars Newsletter no. 7 (2005).
- Works by Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji