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THE FELLOW TRAVELLERS and Other Stories by Sheila Hodgson. Ashcroft, BC, Canada; Ash-Tree Press; 1998. 1st edition hardcover.

Published 26 June 1998.

When M.R. James penned his essay 'Stories I have Tried to Write', he left several plot ideas for, as he wrote, 'the benefit of somebody else'. One writer who appreciated James's generosity was Sheila Hodgson, who determined to bring some of his ideas to fruition. This she did, skilfully using three of James's plots in her radio plays 'The Villa Martine', 'The Turning Point', and 'Come Follow!', two of which are narrated by 'Monty' himself. Then Hodgson went one step further, using the author as a character in the type of story with which he is so closely associated by enthusiasts of the classic supernatural tale.

Thus we find Dr James involved in a 'witch hunt' in south-west England; searching for the missing pages of a mediaeval text in Scotland; puzzling over mysterious happenings in the ruins of Medborough Abbey; and piecing together the strange events behind the account of a centuries-old trial. The rather sceptical James—occasionally accompanied in his adventures by his somewhat reluctant friend and publisher, George Masterman—attempts to explain these events rationally; yet there always seems to be something which does not quite fit.

In these twelve stories—eight of them based on radio plays—Sheila Hodgson has remained true to both the character and the spirit of M.R. James. The Fellow Travellers is a collection which will delight all lovers of the ghost story and its most famous practitioner.

Contents: Introduction by Sheila Hodgson; 'The Villa Martine'; 'The Turning Point'; 'The Lodestone'; 'Childermass'; 'The Backward Glance'; 'The Boat Hook'; 'The Fellow Travellers'; 'The Hand of Gideon Chant'; 'Echoes from the Abbey'; 'Here Ami I, Where Are You?'; 'The Smile'; 'Come, Follow!'.

Jacket art by Paul Lowe. Limited to 500 copies. Fine in fine dj. OUT OF PRINT FROM THE PUBLISHER.