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 40 – The Experiment | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:14

This week Mike and Will attempt some foul necromancy with MR James’ little-known tale ‘The Experiment’.  Ghosts and Scholars described it as “weak and difficult”  story: can your hosts revive it from the dead? Story notes Rosemary and Daroll Pardoe’s invaluable notes, from Ghosts and Scholars Bishop Moore: a hardcore bibliophile after James’ own heart, […]

 Episode 39 – Merfield Hall | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:07

This episode Mike & Will false-start their way through the unfinished M.R. James manuscript ‘Merfield Hall’ (or should that be ‘Merfield House’?). Big thanks to our reader this episode Debbie Wedge. Show notes: ‘Merfield Hall’ manuscript (Ghosts & Scholars) What exists of the manuscript(s) for this story can be read online at the Ghosts & […]

 Episode 38 – The Game of Bear | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:51

An episode of two parts this week.  In part one, Will and Mike open their box of James ephemera to play the “dreadful Game of Bear”.  We only have the opening pages of this unfinished tale, but fortunately three leading Jamesians have tried to finish the story. Big thanks to Kirsty Woodfield who returns to […]

 Episode 37 – Wailing Well | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:38

This episode Mike & Will pack their tents, pull up their socks and strap on their woggles (woggles are a scout thing, right?) as they explore M.R. James’s ‘Wailing Well’! Big thanks to Debbie Wedge for providing the readings for this episode. Show notes: Worbarrow Bay This story was read to the Eton boy scout […]

 Episode 36 – Suffolk and Norfolk | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:42

This episode Mike & Will take a look at M.R. James’s East Anglian guidebook ‘Suffolk and Norfolk’. It’s got churches, lots and lots of churches, but also murder, mayhem, mermen, giants, green children and much more! Show notes: Skeletons at Sparham (civitasperegrina.tumblr.com) Tom Hickathrift the Giant Killer (Wikipedia) Hill of Health, Wordwell (explorebritain.com) Miss M.H. […]

 Episode 35 – Rats | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:15

This episode Mike & Will tackle ‘Moose’ by M.R. James. No wait, that’s not right. Ah yes, ‘Rats’ by M.R. James, that’s the one. The episode features readings by Lewis Davies and the illustration to the right by Alisdair Wood. Show notes: Tom Tiddler’s Ground by Charles Dickens (Project Gutenberg) The quote about rats which […]

 Episode 34 – Marcilly-le-Hayer (with Helen Grant) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:55

This episode Will and Mike are thrilled to be joined by top M.R. James scholar and author Helen Grant to help them struggle their way through unfinished M.R. James story fragment ‘Marcilly-le-Hayer‘. Thanks to our readers this episode, Tom Hemmings and Debbie Wedge. Show notes: Marcilly-le-Hayer map (Monty’s World) You can view the eponymous French […]

 Episode 33 – Mark Gatiss’ The Tractate Middoth | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:18

In this special Christmas Bonus episode, Mike and Will give their thoughts on Mark Gatiss’ adaptation of ‘The Tractate Middoth’ by M.R. James, which aired on UK TV last night along with Gatiss’ documentary ‘M.R. James: Ghost Writer’. Please note that this episode contains spoilers about both programmes so if you are planning on watching […]

 Episode 32 – An Evening’s Entertainment | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:28

In this semi-Christmas episode, Mike and Will don their druid costumes and head down to rural Dorset for some pagan goings-on in ‘An Evening’s Entertainment‘ by M.R. James! Big thanks to Paul Warren for providing the artwork to the right, titled ‘The Unsearchable Way (A Warning to the Curious)’. For more of Paul’s artwork visit […]

 Episode 31 – A Warning to the Curious – Part 2 of 2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:26:31

This episode concludes our coverage of M.R. James’s masterwork ‘A Warning to the Curious‘, and we also speak to James expert Patrick J. Murphy, whose essay ‘Lay of a Last Survivor – Beowulf, the Great War, and M.R. James’s “A Warning to the Curious”’ impressed us greatly when researching this story. Lewis Davies returns again […]

 Episode 30 – A Warning to the Curious – Part 1 of 2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:18:43

The waiting is over, it’s finally time for Mike & Will to tackle what is arguably M.R. James’s masterpiece – A Warning to the Curious! It’s a biggie, so we will split our coverate of this story over two episodes. Our examination of this story will conclude in episode 31. To assist them in their […]

 Episode 29 – A View from a Hill | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:07:43

This episode Mike and Will whip out their podcasting binoculars and peer through them at ‘A View from a Hill by M.R. James. This episode we are very lucky to have actor Scott Wichman (@scottwichmann) as our reader! Scott is starring as comedian George Burns in “Say Goodnight, Gracie” at the Virginia Rep later this month: […]

 Investigating James: an interview with Patrick J. Murphy and Fred Porcheddu | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:35

This week we’ve got an interview for you with two splendid chaps from the U.S., who are delving into what lies behind MR James’ stories. Patrick J. Murphy and Fred Porcheddu are also super-fun guys and we hope you enjoy hearing their take on what made Monty tick, the deeper meanings in his stories, and […]

 Episode 28 – After Dark in the Playing Fields | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:00

In this episode, talking owls. Yes, you heard me correctly. Talking owls. Has Monty completely lost his marbles? Mike and Will ask just that in this episode on ‘After Dark in the Playing Fields‘ by M.R. James. Readings by kind permission of grand panjandrum and actor Robert Lloyd Parry! The full reading of this story […]

 Episode 27 – There was a man dwelt by a churchyard | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:55

In this episode Mike & Will don their funeral garb and shuffle mournfully into ‘There was a man dwelt by a churchyard‘ by M.R. James. A big thanks to Robert Lloyd Parry for giving us permission to use readings extracted from his excellent CD ‘Curious Creatures: The Shorter Horror of M.R. James‘, available to purchase […]


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