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 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 […]

 Episode 26 – A Neighbour’s Landmark | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:22

This episode it is the turn of ‘A Neighbour’s Landmark‘ by M.R. James to receive the critial going-over it deserves at the hands of Will and Mike. Thanks to Kirsty for the excellent readings! Show notes: ‘”They’ve got him! In the trees!” M.R. James and Sylvan Dread’ by Steve Duffy (Ghosts & Scholars) ‘So jarred […]

 Interview with A.N. Donaldson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:58

This episode Mike and Will speak to the author A.N. Donaldson, whose debut novel ‘Prospero’s Mirror‘ features M.R. James as the main protagonist! In the novel M.R. James is summoned to Old College, Oxford to examine the inscription on an ancient mirror which may have belonged to the magician John Dee. Soon James finds himself […]

 Episode 25 – The Uncommon Prayer-book | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:44

This episode Mike & Will put on their golden pince-nez and crack the spine of ‘The Uncommon Prayer-book’ by M.R. James! Big thanks go to our reader for this episode, Debbie Wedge. Questions answered during this episode: Is M.R. James an anti-semite? Is Mr Poschwitz the Germanic Lovejoy? How much snakebite is too much snakebite? […]

 Episode 24 – The Haunted Dolls’ House | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:57

This episode Will and Mike delve into the toy box and pull out something truly horrible in the form of ‘The Haunted Doll’s House‘ by M.R. James! Show notes: Queen Mary’s Dolls’s House This story was written for a real dolls’ house, the one created by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary of […]

 Reading – ‘Sredni Vashtar’ by Saki | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 13:21

Due to illness we haven’t managed to record the next full episode yet, but in the meantime here’s a little something we hope you’ll enjoy, an exclusive reading of ‘Sredni Vashtar’ by M.R. James’s literary contemporary Saki (aka H.H. Munro). This reading was recorded specially for the podcast by Hamish Symington! Thanks Hamish! If you […]

 Episode 23 – The Fenstanton Witch | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 58:53

In this episode Will and Mike travel back in time to the early 18th century to examine some diabolical goings on in rural Cambridgeshire in M.R. James’s ‘The Fenstanton Witch‘. Show notes: Story Locations (Monty’s World) This story features many real-world locations, starting in King’s College Cambridge, and following Hardman and Ashe up the Huntindon […]

 Episode 22 – Two Doctors | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:01

This episode Mike & Will put on their thinking caps and puzzle their way through ‘Two Doctors‘ by M.R. James. Thanks to Kirsty for the excellent readings, and to Alisdair Wood for the great illustration to the left. Don’t forget to vote on which story you would like to see Stephen Gray and his crew […]


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