A Podcast to the Curious - The M.R. James Podcast show

A Podcast to the Curious - The M.R. James Podcast

Summary: A Podcast to the Curious is the only podcast dedicated to the weird fiction of M.R. James! Each episode your humble hosts Will Ross and Mike Taylor will be tackling a different M.R James story, proving a commentary on the story and discussing it's themes and form interlaced with readings. Along the way we hope to include discussion on stage, screen and radio adaptations of James' stories, information on James' life and interests as well as on the legions of authors who were inspired by him.

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 Episode 55 – A Vignette | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:30

Nearly five years to the day that we released Episode 1, we are pleased to bring you ‘A Vignette’, M.R. James’s very last story! The episode also features readings from Robert Lloyd Parry and an exciting announcement about the future of the podcast! Show notes: A Vignette by M.R. James (adelaide.edu.au) A Vignette, read by […]

 Episode 54 – Eton and Kings, part two | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:31:35

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, […]

 Episode 53 – Jacqueline Simpson interview | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:27

This episode Mike and Will interview folklorist Jacqueline Simpson about the influence of Scandinavian and English folklore on M.R. James’s ghost stories, as well as Jacqueline’s collaboration with Terry Pratchett on ‘Folklore of the Discworld’. Many thanks to Jacqueline for her hospitality! More about Jacqueline: Jacqueline Simpson on Wikipedia Dictionary of English Folklore by Jacqueline […]

 Episode 52 – Eton and King’s, part one | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:04:42

It’s back to school this week as Mike and Will pack their tuckboxes and top hats and join Monty for the first part of his memoir “Eton and King’s: recollections, mostly trivial”.  How will James deal with the traditions and quirks of Eton?  Will he avoid a midnight wedgy?  And who exactly is the mysterious […]

 Episode 51 – M.R. James Conference 2016 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:04:15

This episode Mike and Will report on the the M.R. James conference, aka ‘Haunted Studies: The Ghost Stories of M.R. James’ and bring you interviews with a range of Jamesian luminaries present at the event. For more information on the conference, visit the conference website. People we interview in this episode: Dewi Evans (Acedemia.edu) Dewi, […]

 Episode 50 – A Night in King’s College Chapel | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 49:21

This episode Mike and Will pack their sleeping bags and bed down for ‘A Night in King’s College Chapel’ by M.R. James. The episode also features an exclusive interview with James Drewett and Richard Svensson, creators of ‘Monsters and Miscreants’ a new M.R. James-themed card game available to order now. You can also watch an […]

 Episode 49 – Twelve Medieval Ghost Stories | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:06:35

What could be more worthy of a Christmas episode than a ghost story? Answer: twelve ghost stories!  This week Mike and Will find plenty of seasonal cheer in the scribblings of a 15th century monk from Yorkshire, whose collected tales of wandering spirits Monty transcribed in 1922.  Expect lashings of purgatorial terrors, a stocking-full of […]

 Episode 48 – Auditor and Impresario | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:58

This episode Mike and Will dust off their acting chops and take to the stage as they cover Auditor and Impresario, M.R. James’s little-know comic play! Expect diabolism, drama, demons and dreadful sub-GCSE-level acting! The image to the right is none other than M.R. James himself, playing they the part of Peithetairos in an 1883 […]

 Episode 47 – The Five Jars, Part 3 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:22

In this episode Mike and Will cover the concluding third of ‘The Five Jars‘, M.R. James’s little-read children’s book. Expect earwig racing, bat balls, dragons and horseshoe mayhem! The readings for this episode once again come from the excellent Librevox audiobook of The Five Jars, read by Peter Yearsley. Links: Iron in Folklore (Wikipedia) The […]

 Episode 46 – The Five Jars, Part 2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:22

In this episode Mike and Will delve into the middle third of M.R. James’s ‘The Five Jars’ and encounter talking owls, two flavours of sinister old women, and all manner of supernatural trickery and tomfoolery! Readings this week are once again extracted from Peter Yearsley’s excellent Librevox recording of this story, with added help from […]

 Episode 45 – Conference Report: MR James and the Modern Ghost Story | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:52

This week, Will and Mike don their academic tweeds, gather their notes and ascend to the podium to bring you their conference report on MR James and the Modern Ghost Story.  Join us for 45 minutes of (un)learned comment, digressions and wild speculation – plus more expert commentary from author Helen Grant (@helengrantsays), comics writer […]

 Episode 44 – The Five Jars, Part 1 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:22

This week Will and Mike explore the borders between psychedelia and twee when they crack open The Five Jars, Monty’s only novel.  Prepare yourself for enigmatic springs, helpful trees and cantankerous cats – and two very confused podcasters. Show notes: Parents beware – Will drops his guard and utters a foul-mouthed profanity at 12:48.  Chapter […]

 Episode 43 – The Malice of Inanimate Objects | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 35:44

In this episode Mike and Will batten down the hatches and prepare for the onslaught of ‘The Malice of Inanimate Objects‘ by M.R. James. Readings for this episode are taken from Curious Creatures, Robert Lloyd Parry’s excellent audiobook which features a selection of lesser-heard M.R. James stories. Many thanks to Robert for giving us permission […]

 Episode 42 – Christmas bonus – The goblins who stole a sexton by Charles Dickens | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:45

Season’s greetings listeners! We have a Christmas bonus episode for you here, an exclusive readings of one of Charles Dickens’s supernatural Christmas tales ‘The Story of the Goblin who Stole a Sexton‘ which appeared as part of The Pickwick Papers in 1836. For more information on Charles Dickens and M.R. James, check out Episode 41 […]

 Episode 41 – The MR James and Charles Dickens Christmas Special (with last minute gift guide!) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Seasons greetings James fans! In this episode, Will and Mike take a further turn towards the Victorian by pairing up James with his great literary love, Mr Charles Dickens.  Just what influence did he have on James? Lest their amateur speculations take a less than academically rigorous turn, they are joined by James expert Jane […]


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