Montague Rhodes James was born in 1862 at Goodnestone Parsonage, Kent, where his father was a curate. He was educated at Eton College and then King's College, Cambridge where he won many awards and scholarships. He enjoyed a distinguished career, rising to the position of Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University in 1913. An eminent medievalist and scholar of international status, James published many works on biblical and historical antiquarian subjects. He began writing ghost stories almost as a diversion from his academic work and as a form of entertainment for his colleagues. His first collection, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, was published in 1904. He never married, and died in 1936.