Episode 36 – Suffolk and Norfolk

Suffolk and Norfolk by M.R. James (1930 Edition)This episode Mike & Will take a look at M.R. James’s East Anglian guidebook ‘Suffolk and Norfolk’. It’s got churches, lots and lots of churches, but also murder, mayhem, mermen, giants, green children and much more!

Show notes:



  1. A Rat In The Wall says:

    Yes, a new podcast! Gotta say, I’ve missed you guys. It’s been a while, I’ve been listening to older episodes a lot lately.

    I wasn’t expecting you’s to do this book til the stories were finished. All the same, you’ve made it sound very intriguing. I love folklore and local legends, shame James didn’t like it so much, because he clearly had such a good knowledge of the area he could have compiled a few. I just wish there was more!

    I actually picked up the 150th anniversary edition of ‘Curious Warnings’ recently and that’s got just about everything in there BUT this book. All the more reason to go out and buy it!

  2. Jay W. Watson says:

    Really great to have you back guys; you were missed! Another very informative and (as always) FUN podcast. I actually now want to read this East Anglican guidebook. :D

  3. Jay W. Watson says:

    still laughing (I love your “out-takes” and asides :D ) at “beat a giant to death with a lusty miller”

  4. mark says:

    There is a children’s book by Kevin Crossley-Holland called The Green Children about the Woolpit pair.
    The Guide would be a great book for you to discuss as it has a few ambiguities. Was James spared on condition he lured others into the trap?

    Don’t be away so long; I’ve missed you.

  5. Richard Leigh says:

    Welcome back, and I hope the holidays were worthwhile. I’ve tried (naturally) to find the M.H.James book. There’s a copy advertised on ebay for hundreds of pounds, and it seems that there are copies in only seven libraries in the world. It would be interesting to read it, but I suppose I must resign myself to not doing so. It’s hard to see, though, why MRJ and his brother would have felt the need for a pseudonym, for this book or for the index to “Suffolk and Norfolk”.
    That’s an impressive collection of links at the head of your podcast! Thanks – months of work, now, following them up.

  6. Joyce says:

    Thanks for another excellent podcast!

    If you enjoy “The Guide” by Ramsey Campbell, you might also like “The Face” by E.F. Benson:

  7. Mike says:

    Thanks for all your comments guys! Glad you liked the episode. Fingers crossed less of a wait for Wailing Well.

  8. Rick Kennett says:

    When you’re finished with Monty’s opus a Jamesian work you might like to take a look at is Fritz Leiber’s novel Our Lady of Darkness which also has Lovecraftian elements. Or if a novel is too long there is a shorter version titled The Pale Brown Thing. Just a thought.

    Love your show. Keep up the wonderful work.

    Rick Kennett

  9. mark says:

    Will you be discussing ‘The Experiment’ before you finish his ghost stories? It’s easily overlooked as the only place Ive found it in is David Collings’ Complete Ghost Stories audiobook.

    • Will Ross says:

      Yes we certainly will! We are going to leave no stone unturned when it comes to James material to cover.

  10. Richard Leigh says:

    I looked up Belchamp St Paul’s in the index to “Suffolk and Norfolk” – no luck, of course. But there is an entry for the Bell Inn, Thetford. No reference to this appears, however, on the page referred to. Maybe it’s elsewhere in the book, which I have yet to read thoroughly. I wonder what sort of story MRJ could have based on this ghost reference ? In the copy of the book which I bought in a second-hand book shop, there is a leaflet, published by Trust Houses, about some historic Inns “in they parts”, including The Saracen’s Head. There are, or were, rumours about a former landlord who doubled as a highwayman. I can imagine a prelude to “Rats” in which Mr Thomson’s researches into just such legends has led him (unavoidably?) to the unnamed inn in the story.

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