Stories that inspired M.R. James

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

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Episode 57 – The White and the Black by Erckmann-Chatrian

December 21, 2016 | Episodes | Comments (4)

Émile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian

Émile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian

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:

The following also get a mention in this episode:

  • Nunkie Theatre (
    Robert Lloyd Parry is releasing another of his excellent M.R. James performances as a pay-to-stream release before Christmas.
  • Haunted Advent Calendar (
    To entertain lovers of the strange and horrible over the festive season, authors Leah Moore and John Reppion have produced this highly enjoyable advent calendar, packed with weird and horrifying tit-bits.

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  1. Danny says:

    Just wanted to say I really appreciate what you guys have done and am really enjoying series 2 so far.

    This story was really fantastically weird and felt quite contemporary with well-drawn characters.

    Erckmann-Chatrian are definitely on my radar now so thanks for helping popularise this.

    Very impressed that you actually translated this story for the book. There are some other great stories in the book – many of them well-known classics – and am looking forward to the extra insights you bring to these.

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks Danny! We really enjoyed this one.

  3. Rich Johnson says:

    Only just catching up with this episode, but I really, really like the sound of this story, and I had not heard of the authors previously. Looking forward very much to the rest of Season 2.

    There was another link to M R James stories that occurred to me here; the quote from the temple of Isis about “no-one penetrating the mystery that surrounds me” reminded me of the inscription on the metal globe at the centre of Mr Humphrey’s maze, “Penetrans ad interior mortis.”

  4. MarkB says:

    I kept wondering whether I had read this or not in the past – it sounded vaguely familiar. Then, when the character started fiddling, I was sure. I think it was in a thick paperback collection of ghost stories I might have bought in the 1980s. It was interesting to hear it discussed after all these years.

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