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Stories that inspired M.R. James

Twelve tales of terror recommended by the master of the genre!

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Episode 39 – Merfield Hall

October 17, 2014 | Episodes | Comments (4)

Charles Cotton's fishing templeThis episode Mike & Will false-start their way through the unfinished M.R. James manuscript ‘Merfield Hall’ (or should that be ‘Merfield House’?).

Big thanks to our reader this episode Debbie Wedge.

Show notes:

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4 Comments

  1. Luke says:

    Loved hearing a reference to The Woman In Black in this podcast. When you’re done with M.R. James stuff you should do a podcast on one of his idols – J. Sheridan Le Fanu (plenty of stories there) and maybe other ghost story writers of that time, including some of his Cambridge colleagues. Yes?.

  2. Rich Johnson says:

    You say that Wiggins and Chatteris don’t feature later in the manuscript, and it’s a mystery why Wiggins is telling Chatteris about the house, and that ‘maybe’ Chatteris inherits the house.

    Doesn’t the manuscript opening say that Steadman left the house to Chatteris: “you [Chatteris] requested me [Wiggins] to go through them and extract what I could relative to his experiences in that house, of which he left you [Chatteris] the heir”?

  3. Richard Leigh says:

    Could the attesting by the butler and housekeeper simply be confirming that the document is in his handwriting?

  4. Graham says:

    Regarding the possibility that someone else wrote this story. I recently discovered the novel “A College Mystery” by A.P. Baker (1873 – 1919) includes a thank you to “…the Provost of Eaton for reading through the manuscript of this little book and for kindly comment…” at the time the Provost was of course M.R. James, it could be that one of the versions of Merfield Hall was written by Baker.

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