Stories that inspired M.R. James

Twelve tales of terror recommended by the master of the genre!

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Episode 95 – The Weird of the Walfords by Louisa Baldwin

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

Jamesian Wallop T-shirt


Episode 94 – Exploring Eleanor Scott with Vicky Margree and Dan Orrells

This episode we speak with two experts to better understand Eleanor Scott and her story Randall’s Round, Dr Vicky Margree and Prof Dan Orrells. We discuss what’s known about Eleanor Scott, her time at Oxford University in the early 1900s and the role of gender, folklore and imperialism in her writing.

Vicky is a specialist in literary fiction and feminist theory. Her book British Women’s Short Supernatural Fiction, 1860-1930: Our Own Ghostliness looks at stories by Margaret Oliphant, Charlotte Riddell, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Edith Nesbit, Alice Perrin, Eleanor Scott and Violet Hunt.

Dan focuses on the history of the interpretation of classical literature. He’s interested in the Greeks and Romans in the Victorian imagination, including how these inspired Gothic and ghostly tales at the turn of the 20th century.  He co-edited with Vicky a study of Richard Marsh, a fascinating late-Victorian author who wrote about “shape-shifting monsters, morally dubious heroes, lip-reading female detectives and objects that come to life.”

In our conversation we learn more about the folklore revival, Edward B Tylor’s ideas about primitive cultures and notions of “survivals” amd the experience of women at Oxford and Cambridge (Dan recommends the Dorothy L Sayers novel Gaudy Night!).

Massive thank you to Vicky and Dan for being such engaging and insightful guests and sharing their expertise with us!  If you want to read ahead, we’ll be back next time with The Weird of the Walfords by Louisa Baldwin.


Episode 93 – Count Magnus Awakens

Mr Wraxhall - BBC
A BBC Ghost Story for Christmas is thankfully as traditional as quaffing eggnog and leaving out a carrot for Rudolph. And what a treat, as this year Count Magnus made the Black Pilgrimage onto our screens.  But has Mark Gatiss been naughty or nice? We give you our verdict.

Show notes


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