Running Time 1hr 5mins
Five atmospheric dramatisations of classic ghost stories, introduced by Derek Jacobi as the voice of
M. R. James.
Widely acknowledged as the master of the supernatural, M. R. James penned many of his classic ghost stories to be read aloud to friends, by candlelight, in his study on Christmas Eve.
These five adaptations, originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4, perfectly capture the mood of nerve-jangling suspense that would surely have been present during those readings.
In ‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’, Professor Parkins embarks on a terrifying journey of discovery
after he removes a curious artefact from the ruins of a Templar preceptory; while ‘The Tractate Middoth’ sees diligent curator David Garrett caught up in the machinations of the mysterious Dr Rant when he’s sent to retrieve an obscure manuscript from the library stacks.
‘Lost Hearts’ tells of a young boy haunted by two ghostly children, and in ‘The Rose Garden’, terrifying forces are unleashed when the Goodmans tear down their old summer house.
Finally, ‘Number 13’ takes us to the Danish town of Viborg, where Dr Anderson puts himself in terrible danger as he investigates why the hotel he’s staying at does not contain a room 13.
Starring BAFTA and Emmy-award winning actor Derek Jacobi, and with powerfully chilling music and sound effects, these rich, riveting dramatisations make for irresistible listening.
Montague Rhodes James was born on 1 August 1862 near Bury St Edmunds, though he spent long periods of his later life in Suffolk, which provided the setting for many of his ghost stories.
He studied at Eton and Kings College, Cambridge, where he was eventually elected Fellow, and then made Provost in
1905. In 1918 he became Provost of Eton. He was a renowed medievalist and biblical scholar, and published works on palaeography, antiquarianism, bibliography and history, guides to Suffolk and Norfolk, as well as editing a
collection of ghost stories by Sheridan Le Fanu. However, he remains best known for his own ghost stories, which were published in several collections including Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), A Thin Ghost and Other Stories (1919), A Warning to the Curious (1925) and a collected edition in 1931.
M. R. James never married and died on 12 June 1936.