Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Mezzotint

Our third story involves a haunted picture that tells a macabre story.  The picture is a mezzotint, which is a particular kind of metal engraving technique most used in the 19th century.  Here is a mezzotint of Shakespeare for you to study.

"The Mezzotint" is one that has stuck in my head.  Hardly anything happens, and yet it's quite spooky!  What do you think of this one?

A little biographical information for you:  M. R. James was born in 1862 in Kent.  His family was quite religious and MRJ's father hoped that he would go into the Church as a career.  Instead, the young James became very interested in Biblical archaeology and ancient history in general.  He also enjoyed research into legends and stories of the supernatural.  All this was part of James' early interests as he attended prep school and Eton before moving on to Cambridge University.


Cat said...

I liked it! Although I think it would have been creepier if the gentleman looking at the picture had been more upset about what they were seeing.
Loved the comment about Thomas Hardy.

This afternoon I came across a YouTube video of an English actor reading it and really enjoyed listening to it.

Risa said...

I agree with Cat. None of the gentlemen seemed particularly freaked out after the first start. It's almost like they're used to such things happening.

Also, the story seems watered down considering it was told to the writer by a friend who was also the friend of Williams. However, it was an interesting read.

Nancy Leek said...

Great story. I love the pacing and the oh-so-British sang-froid. "My goodness! he must have got in" is as exciting as it gets.

Plus there's the "Sadducean Professor of Ophiology" and "sympathetic ink"! Who could ask for more?

missy said...

I'm sorry I have not commented. I have had the worst head cold! But I'm feeling much better and hope to catch up. I'm about two behind. I liked this peculiar little tale!