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Episode 35 – Rats

Rats by Alisdair WoodThis episode Mike & Will tackle ‘Moose’ by M.R. James.

No wait, that’s not right. Ah yes, ‘Rats’ by M.R. James, that’s the one.

The episode features readings by Lewis Davies and the illustration to the right by Alisdair Wood.

Show notes:

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Episode 34 – Marcilly-le-Hayer (with Helen Grant)

Le Chateau de Chavaudon, Marcilly-le-HayerThis episode Will and Mike are thrilled to be joined by top M.R. James scholar and author Helen Grant to help them struggle their way through unfinished M.R. James story fragment ‘Marcilly-le-Hayer‘.

Thanks to our readers this episode, Tom Hemmings and Debbie Wedge.

Show notes:

  • Marcilly-le-Hayer map (Monty’s World)
    You can view the eponymous French town on our mapping app Monty’s World.
  • Postcards of Marcilly-le-Hayer (www.famille-bretet.net)
    This website contains a great number of period postcards and photos of Marcilly-le-Hayer.
  • Story notes by Rosemary Pardoe  (Ghosts & Scholars)
    Rosemary Pardoe has provides some very useful notes on this story, including translations of the French passages.
  • Places I have tried to visit: Marcilly-le-Hayer (Helen Grant)
    This is the excellent article that prompted us to invite Helen to be our co-host. First published in Ghosts & Scholars, this article describes Helen’s visit to Marcilly-le-Hayer and her search for the locations featured in the story.
  • ‘Caroline de Litchfield’ by Donald Tumasonis (Ghosts & Scholars)
    In this article Tumasonis examines the real novel which James features in this story (albeit with a slightly mangled title!).
  • M.R. James and France by Percy Lubbock (Google books)
    Percy Lubbock’s all-to breif memoir of M.R. James features some revealing and entertaining insights into some of James’ many holidays in France.
  • Stories I have tried to write by M.R. James (The Albion Chronicles)
    In his essay ‘Stories I have tried to write’ M.R. James describes various stories which never reached publication, including one which is unmistakably ‘Marcilly-le-Hayer’.
  • A Whisper in the Ear by Sheila Hodgson (Youtube)
    Between 1976 and 1992 Sheila Hodgson wrote a number of stories for radio which were inspired by the stories mentioned in M.R. James’ essay ‘Stories I have tried to write’. This one is based on the fragment of ‘Marcilly-e-Hayer’ mentioned in that essay. The others can be purchases in ebook form.
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Episode 33 – Mark Gatiss’ The Tractate Middoth

In this special Christmas Bonus episode, Mike and Will give their thoughts on Mark Gatiss’ adaptation of ‘The Tractate Middoth’ by M.R. James, which aired on UK TV last night along with Gatiss’ documentary ‘M.R. James: Ghost Writer’.

Please note that this episode contains spoilers about both programmes so if you are planning on watching either then make sure you do so before listening to this episode!

Hats off to Mr Gatiss for providing us with a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment!

If you want to learn more about the original story then look no further than our own Episode 11 which examined The Tractate Middoth in detail.

Finally, if you enjoyed Robert Lloyd Parry’s bravura performance as M.R. James in the documentary, don’t forget to check out his tour dates or buy a dvd over at his website nunkie.co.uk.

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