Episode 47 – The Five Jars, Part 3

In this episode Mike and Will cover the concluding third of ‘The Five Jars‘, M.R. James’s little-read children’s book. Expect earwig racing, bat balls, dragons and horseshoe mayhem!

The readings for this episode once again come from the excellent Librevox audiobook of The Five Jars, read by Peter Yearsley.


Contemporary children’s novels with a similar touch of the weird:


Episode 46 – The Five Jars, Part 2

The Five Jars - illustration by Gilbert James

In this episode Mike and Will delve into the middle third of M.R. James’s ‘The Five Jars’ and encounter talking owls, two flavours of sinister old women, and all manner of supernatural trickery and tomfoolery!

Readings this week are once again extracted from Peter Yearsley’s excellent Librevox recording of this story, with added help from Debbie Wedge.

If you don’t have a copy of The Five Jars in your collection, you can read the whole thing online at

Also, Letters to a Child, extracts from M.R. James’s highly entertaining correspondence with the young Sybil Cropper can be read online at the Ghosts & Scholars website.


Episode 44 – The Five Jars, Part 1

This week Will and Mike explore the borders between psychedelia and twee when they crack open The Five Jars, Monty’s only novel.  Prepare yourself for enigmatic springs, helpful trees and cantankerous cats – and two very confused podcasters.

Show notes:

Parents beware – Will drops his guard and utters a foul-mouthed profanity at 12:48.  Chapter one was a real struggle at times.

The full text of the Five Jars, courtesy of Thin Ghost.

We used Peter Yearsley’s Libravox recording of Five Jars for our readings this week, with sound editing by Will.

Alisdair Wood’s excellent illustration for The Five Jars also appears on this month’s Ghosts and Scholars Newsletter (subscribe!).  Why not check out Alisdair’s store?

If you’d like to see one of Robert Lloyd Parry’s performances in Oxford, Manchester, Newcastle, Cambridge or Hemmingford Grey Manor, do contact him directly.

And finally, did anyone else think of this when they heard about the bat?