Regular listeners will have noticed that we are more than a little bit obsessed with working out the real-world locations that M.R. James may have had in mind for his stories. Well this obsession has led us to create an exciting new feature for the podcast website!
We are calling it ‘Monty’s World’, and it is an interactive map featuring locations not only mentioned in M.R. James’s stories, but also various locations that were important to James during his lifetime such as his childhood home at Great Livermere. There are currently nearly 50 locations featured but we plan to keep adding new locations as we cover them in the stories (if not sooner). Click the map to the right to view it now!
If you know any locations not already featured which you think should be added please drop us an email at email@example.com. Also any corrections or suggestions for improvements (we are aware that the mobile/tablet browsing experience is pretty horrible at present) can be sent to the same address.
The next story we will be covering is ‘Martin’s Close’ by M.R. James, and although in the story it is simply described as ‘a parish in the west’, James later admitted in the introduction to the 1931 Complete Ghost Stories that the location that inspired the story was Sampford Courtney in Devon.
Could we resist the temptation to pop down to Devon and have a snoop around? We could not.
We will provide more details on what we found in the fourthcoming episode on Martin’s Close, including mentions of King’s College inside the church, names used by James in the story found on gravestones and suspicious looking pools of water just outside the village!
The highlight of the trip was a visit to the New Inn, the pub which features in some of the more scary moments from the story, where we interviewed Malcomn the landlord who was a goldmine of information on all the ghostly happenings in the inn and local area.
We will be talking about our trip in greater detail in the next episode of the podcast, which will hopefully by out by next weekend.
We’ve put some pictures up on Flickr, including: our Cambridge road trip (and a nocturnal visit to the scene of “The Fenstanton Witch” (minus huge terrible witch-corpse-bat-thing; Mike discovering Carswell Manor (apropos our next episode, “Casting the Runes”) and us recording episode 12 earlier today. Don’t have nightmares.