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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 87 – Mark Gatiss’s The Mezzotint

Portrait of Mark Gatiss with a manor house in the background.In this episode, Mike and Will share their thoughts on Mark Gatiss’s recent TV adaptation of M.R. James’s The Mezzotint.

Join us for some monocle-popping, mustache-bristling, spine-chilling fun!

Show notes

The image that accompanied this episode includes elements of ‘Mycroft Holmes post stamp‘ by iMontage (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), ‘Abbey Manor House‘ by David Luther Thomas (CC BY-SA 2.0) and ‘Picture frame‘ by Sailko (CC BY 3.0).

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Episode 83 – A Room in a Rectory

Church 2 by Garry Platt

This episode Will and Mike hitch up their cassocks, pack their prayer books and head to ‘Southshire’ to┬áopen ‘A Room in a Rectory’ by Sir Andrew Caldecott!

Big thanks to Kirsty who provided the readings for this episode, and to Garry Platt who provided the photo that accompanies this episode. You can see more of Garry’s photos at his Instagram account.

Show notes:

  • Sir Andrew Caldecott (wikipedia)
    You can find out about Caldecott’s life and exalted career in the┬áColonial Office at his wikipedia page.
  • ‘Not Exactly Ghosts’ (Project Gutenberg Australia)
    While Caldecott’s stories are not quite out of copyright in most countries, you can still read the volume of ghost stories that ‘A Room in a Rectory’┬ácomes from in its entirety┬áonline at Project Gutenberg Australia.
  • St Michael defeating┬áSatan (wikipedia)
    If you are trying to visualise the stained glass window that features in this story, head over to this wikipedia page where you can see a number of artistic interpretations of this very scene.
  • Hymns Ancient and Modern (37mb PDF)
    This story features a crackingly devilish inversion of a hymn from the hymn book ‘Hymns Ancient and Modern’. You can read the original version in this PDF, hymn number 335.
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Episode 78 – Brother John’s Bequest by Arthur Gray

Arthur Gray - Tedious Brief Tales of Granta and GramayeThis episode Mike and Will travel back to 16th century Cambridge to get acquainted with a rather unsavory guest at Jesus College in ‘Brother John’s Bequest‘ by Arthur Gray. Booze, burials and bell-book-and-candle are the order of the day here, with a side order of spitting. Eww.

Big thanks to Kirsty for providing the excellent readings for this episode!

Notes

  • Arthur Gray (Ghosts & Scholars)
    This excellent┬áGhosts & Scholars article by Rosemary Pardoe provides biographical information on Arthur Gray, as well as plot synopses for all the stories in ‘Tedious Brief Tales of Granta and Gramarye’. It also contains the poem that we mention in this episode, published in 1911, which speculated about the identity of the then-mysterious ‘Ingulphus’!
  • Ingulf, Benedictine abbot of Crowland (wikipedia)
    The┬á11th century monk Ingulf (or Ingulphus in Latin) is where Arthur Gray borrowed his pseudonym. Ingulf’s writings were studied extensively by historians┬ábut his name became a byword for unreliability when the works were found to be a forgery, written long after his death!
  • Arthur Gray and the Ghost Club (anilbalan.com)
    This blog post discusses Gray’s most famous story The Everlasting Club, mentioning how it quickly came to be part of the lore of Jesus College.
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