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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 73 – Out of the sea by A.C. Benson

A.C. BensonThis episode Mike and Will indulge in murder, moralising and supernatural goat-based mayhem in A.C. Benson’s ‘Out of the Sea’.

Big thanks to our reader for this episode Debbie Wedge, and don’t forget to check out her M.R. James-themed t-shirt designs, ‘No diggin’ ere‘ and ‘Barchestering‘!

Notes:

  • A.C. Benson (Wikipedia)
    A.C. Benson was one of MRJ’s closest friends throughout his life. They attended prep school, Eton and King’s College together, worked together in later life and remained regular correspondents right up until Benson’s death in 1925.
  • ‘Out of the sea’ (full story – Project Gutenberg)
    You can read this story online, or download as a free ebook at Project Gutenberg. The story features in Benson’s 1904 collection ‘The Isles of Sunset’.
  • Wreckers (wikipedia)
    In this episode we speculated that Mister Grimston might have been involved in ‘Wrecking’, the act of luring passing ships into dangerous waters to sink them so their cargo could be stolen.
  • A.C. Benson and Cambridge (Ged Martin)
    An extended essay about A.C. Benson that touches on his whole life at Cambridge, as well as his relationship with his father and his mental health.
  • Why is the Devil also a goat? (Refinery29.com)
    This article explores why goats became associated with evil in both religious symbolism and popular culture.
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Episode 54 – Eton and Kings, part two

M.R. James in Westmorland, 1903 (age 41)

In this epic feature-length James-fest, Mike and Will conclude their coverage of ‘Eton and King’s’, M.R. James’s memoir of a life spent in two of the UK’s most celebrated educational institutions.

This part covers M.R. James’s time as an undergraduate, Fellow, Dean and Provost at King’s College, his somewhat unhappy stint as Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, and his final return to Eton as Provost.

Our reader for this episode was Peter Ross, thanks pa!

Image is M.R. James in Westmorland, in 1903 (aged about 40).

Show notes:

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