A Podcast to the Curious - The M.R. James Podcast show

A Podcast to the Curious - The M.R. James Podcast

Summary: A Podcast to the Curious is the only podcast dedicated to the weird fiction of M.R. James! Each episode your humble hosts Will Ross and Mike Taylor will be tackling a different M.R James story, proving a commentary on the story and discussing it's themes and form interlaced with readings. Along the way we hope to include discussion on stage, screen and radio adaptations of James' stories, information on James' life and interests as well as on the legions of authors who were inspired by him.

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 Episode 68: The Death Mask by Mrs H.D. Everett | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:56

Textaphobes beware!  This month Will and Mike tackle Henrietta Dorothy Everett’s “The Death Mask”, a supernatural farce about termagant wives, gold diggin’ husbands and menacing fabrics. Story notes: Monty writes,“Going back a few years I light on Mrs Everett’s The Death Mask, of a rather quieter tone on the whole, but with some excellently conceived […]

 Episode 67 – Through a Glass Darkly conference report | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:13:54

This episode it’s conference report time! We’ve just returned from Through a Glass Darkly, an M.R. James conference which brought together authors, academics and fans in ghost-haunted York for a 2-day Jamesfest of epic proportions! The episode features interviews with: Conference organisers Paul M. Chapman, Theresa Dudley and Mark Jones, who told us about how […]

 Episode 66 – The Monkey’s Paw | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:10:06

This month Mike and Will throw caution to the wind and make an ill-fated wish on “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs.  Best known in his own time for gentle tales of the sea and other comic stories, Jacobs is now perhaps most famous for this classic cautionary tale of cursed taxidermy, family tragedy and […]

 Episode 65 – The Story of the Moor Road | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

This episode Mike and Will return to the realms of the ‘psychic detective’ in this tale from mother-son writing team Kate and Hesketh Hesketh-Prichard. Expect terror on the moors with malevolent earth spirits, coughing ghosts, ominous otters and even a bicycle chase scene! A big thanks to Rob Douglas, who provided the readings for this episode. […]

 Episode 64 – Featherston’s Story by Mrs Henry Wood | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:01:56

Have you ever had a hankering for upping sticks and moving overseas, where one’s limited means might stretch a little further and the wine flow more freely? This week Will and Mike head for the north coast of France in Featherston’s Story, where Mrs Henry Wood shows us that expat life is not always baguettes, […]

 Episode 63 – Christmas Re-union by Sir Andrew Caldecott | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:08

Ho ho ho! We have a festive cracker of an episode for you this month (literally), as Mike and Will explore Sir Andrew Caldecott’s M.R. James-inspired tale, ‘Christmas Re-union‘. A big thank you to Tony Mears, who provided the readings for this episode. Check out his bands new track ‘A Hypothermia Banquet‘ on Bandcamp! Story […]

 Episode 62 – The Upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:25

Mike and Will take a cruise across the pond in the good ship Kamchatka – but who’s hiding in The Upper Berth?  Joining us to narrate F. Marion Crawford’s classic tale is reader Rupert Simons, who tells us that he’s found a cheap cabin for his trip from The Hook to Harwich next week… Show […]

 Episode 61 – The Open Door by Margaret Oliphant | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:13:09

This episode join Mike and Will as they don their kilts and sporrans and head north of Hadrian’s wall for some Scottish horror (no, not the midges) as we explore ‘The Open Door’ by Margaret Oliphant! Big thanks to Kirsty for chilling us to the bone with her readings for this episode. Show notes: Margaret […]

 Episode 60 – The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:22:39

We’re back! This week Mike and Will descend gingerly into a gloomy railway cutting to investigate Charles Dickens’ The Signal-Man.  Dickens dissects the harsh realities of life in industrial Britain, but can he also deliver a pleasing terror and a locomotive-sized Jamesian Wallop? (spoiler: yes, in spades) Show notes: Higham Station was the closest to […]

 Episode 59 – The Haunted and the Haunters by Edward Bulwer-Lytton | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:21:59

This episode Mike and Will cover ‘The Haunted and the Haunters‘ by Charles Dickens’s BFF, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. M.R. James considered this story essential reading, saying “Nobody is permitted to write about ghost stories without mentioning ‘The Haunted and the Haunters’.” (Some Remarks on Ghost Stories). Will it live up to our expectations? Our reader for […]

 Episode 58 – The Familiar by J Sheridan Le Fanu | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:52:13

In this bumper episode we examine M.R. James’s favourite story by his favourite author, ‘The Familiar’ by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu! Praise doesn’t get much higher than that, but is it all it is cracked up to be? If you are a fan of owls, diminutive, angry men in fur caps and incredibly long sentences, then […]

 Episode 57 – The White and the Black by Erckmann-Chatrian | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:00

This episode Mike and Will pop across the channel for some booze-heavy French/German shinanigans in ‘The White and the Black’ by Erckmann-Chartrian. M.R. James says this writing partnership “produced some quite first-class romances”, but this tale of murder and mayhem is no love story! Show notes: Erckmann-Chatrian (Wikipedia) About the authors Breisach, Germany (Wikipedia) About […]

 Episode 56 – A Relation of the Apparition of Mrs Veal by Daniel Defoe | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:18:22

Happy Halloween listeners! In this bumper-bonus episode we talk about our first non-M.R. James ghost story, ‘A Relation of the Apparition of Mrs Veal‘, a fascinating early ghost story attributed to Daniel Defoe. We also interview Leah Moore and John Reppion about their recently-published graphic novel of ‘Ghost stories of an Antiquary‘. Finally, we are […]

 Episode 55 – A Vignette | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:30

Nearly five years to the day that we released Episode 1, we are pleased to bring you ‘A Vignette’, M.R. James’s very last story! The episode also features readings from Robert Lloyd Parry and an exciting announcement about the future of the podcast! Show notes: A Vignette by M.R. James (adelaide.edu.au) A Vignette, read by […]

 Episode 54 – Eton and Kings, part two | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:31:35

In this epic feature-length James-fest, Mike and Will conclude their coverage of ‘Eton and King’s’, M.R. James’s memoir of a life spent in two of the UK’s most celebrated educational institutions. This part covers M.R. James’s time as an undergraduate, Fellow, Dean and Provost at King’s College, his somewhat unhappy stint as Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, […]


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