Stories that inspired M.R. James

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Episode 95 – The Weird of the Walfords by Louisa Baldwin

July 2, 2023 | Episodes | Comments (8)

Illustration of humphrey Walford destroying the bed, from the original editions of Louisa Baldwin's 'The Shadow on the Blind'Who would win in a fight between a man and a bed? Find the answer to this question and more in our new episode on The Weird of the Walfords by Louisa Baldwin! Also, if you like emotionally-repressed Victorian husbands, you will not leave disappointed.

Show notes:

Thanks to Debbie Wedge for providing the readings for this episode. Don’t forget to check out Debbie’s new Jamesian Wallop t-shirt and others inspired by M.R. James on

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  1. Patricia says:

    Thanks for the episode, guys. Really enjoyable, as always.

  2. John says:

    Always a bit of a red flag if your new husband says to you: “Welcome to the house! Just by the way, I’ve got a perfectly normal and uninteresting secret room which YOU MUST NEVER ENTER! Don’t worry about it though: nothing to see here.”

  3. Nick Beale says:

    If you want a prototype for an implausibly large bed, hten the V&A has the Great Bed of Ware ( Whether or not it’s malevolent, I don’t know.

  4. Apoplexy Jones says:

    Lovely to hear from you all again ~ went through the roughly three stages of anti-grief when Spotify switched to your podcast on shuffle and it slowly dawned on me that – no, it was not an old episode – or was it… no definitely not!

    The discussion of what Monty would have made of the story was particularly intriguing this time around. Methinks more “MR points” would have been accrued if there was some Hamlet-esque reference to the ‘sleep of death’ marked by the bed and perhaps even ‘the rub’ of the thing if he was feeling a little more permitting

  5. Jon Pountney says:

    Great to have you back fellas!

  6. Carol M says:

    Nice to hear some Louisa Baldwin covered. For Kindle users there is an anthology of her stories, ‘The Shadow on the Blind and Other Ghost Stories’ available from Black Heath Editions (via Amazon) for 99p.

  7. Seán says:

    God this story was good fun! Loved that first half, Mike was on the ball with that almost Poe-esque feverish monomania about it, and the second post-marriage stuff, great little reveals and shocking moments. Though I think I was imagining a much different relationship between them than you guys were, didn’t seem so abusive. I think much hinges on Humphrey’s unstable attitude towards the bed. But overall, just a really solid tale with good detail, will certainly be checking out Baldwin’s other stories.

    I think the bed was something parasitic, maybe even negatively symbiotic, of the Walfords’ own making. They birthed, conceived, and lay out their dead for so many generations that it took on some kind of nature that they themselves created. They bound themselves to it, and there was no escaping it, except for Humphrey who gets his life completely ruined and his family killed. But hey, he can die wherever he wants now!

  8. Anders Davis says:

    Excellent episode! Always excited to see a new one from you guys.

    May I request a future season dedicated to J. Sheridan Le Fanu? He was James’ favorite ghost story author, after all. Besides, you two would give his work the treatment it deserves!

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