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In this book, Ballantyne weaves the story of Phillip Mayland and his friend, George Aspel with an interesting portrayal of the British Post Office as it existed in the 19th century. In the words of R. M. Ballantyne himself: "This tale is founded chiefly on facts furnished by the Postmaster-General’s Annual Reports, and gathered, during personal intercourse and investigation, at the General Post-Office of London and its Branches. It is intended to illustrate—not by any means to exhaust—the su ...
 
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The Turn Of The Screw Part 4, being chapters 9, 10 and 11. Minimal show notes this week as I plough on trying to record and edit this novella. Visit the website at www.ghostpod.org Sign Up on Substack For Exclusive Bonus Episodes! Download A Free Audiobook Of My Story The Dalston Vampire Other Links Start Music: "Some Come Back" by the Heartwood In…
 
Come with us as we journey back through the mists of time to the land of 2019! Where a school boy called Alex pulled a sword from the stone and sets into motion a battle against Morgan le Fey! Get ready your bone, gristle and beetle blood for The Kid Who Would Be King! Music: Arthurian Mythia Theme by Invictus Media Arthurian Mythia Techno Remix by…
 
Part 3 of The Turn Of The Screw Our part three, not Henry James's. We're getting through the story. It's a good story! The characterisation is skilled. The language is like walking through a forest littered with logs hidden among grass. You keep tripping up. Or I do. Hope you're enjoying. You'd better, be. We have some way to go yet. Sign Up The Cl…
 
S0211 The Turn Of The Screw Part 2 I'm not going to say much. James's parenthetical insertions of information interrupt the flow of his sentences. He says something, the elaborates on it, then elaborates on that and sometimes elaborates on that as if his thoughts are sparking tangentially. He always comes back to the main matter, but it makes it ha…
 
So we begin The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I have wanted to do this story for a long time but have hesitated because it's so long! Of course, we have read out The Beckoning Fair One, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, and Carmilla that ran on over several episodes, but The Turn of the Screw will be the longest so far. I reckon it'll ta…
 
S0209 The Maker of Gargoyles by Clark Ashton Smith Clark Ashton Smith was born in 1893 in Long Valley, California and died in California in 1961. He began as a poet and wrote decadent, overblown Romantic poetry after the manner of Swinburne. He got early recognition for his work in California. Lovecraft loved him and with Robert E Howard and Howard…
 
Subscribe here, support The Classic Ghost Stories Podcast and obtain exclusive content. S0208: The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood We did the Kit Bag by Algernon Blackwood as Episode 20, and there I said: Algernon Blackwood Algernon Blackwood was an English writer born in 1869 who ended up as a broadcaster on the radio and TV. His writing was ver…
 
Bruno Schulz Bruno Schulz was a Polish writer. He was born in 1892 in Austrian Galicia. In those days that part of historical Poland was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now it is part of Ukraine. His family were well-off traders who owned a dry goods shop. I'm not wholly sure what that is, though I think I knew when I was younger.…
 
We journey back to Thule and this time its for the 1997 live action adaptation of Prince Valiant! Can Valiant stop the evil Morgan and Thagnar the viking from stealing Excalibur and taking over Britain? Probably yes, because he's the titular hero. Music: Arthurian Mythia Theme by Invictus Media End Theme Monty Python Intermission Song - Monty Pytho…
 
This is a subscriber only episode, so come on and sign up at tonywalker.substack.com John Buchan: John Buchan, officially 1st Baron Tweedsmuir was born in 1875 in Perth, Scotland and died in 1940 aged only 64 in Montreal, Canada. He was Governor General of Canada until he died in office. His father was a minister of the Church of Scotland. Many of …
 
The Fall of The House of Usher - Classic Ghost Stories Podcast has done a Poe story before: [The Tell-Tale Heart (Episode 12)] and that was fine, but the Fall of the House of Usher is, in my humble opinion, finer. Poe was an American writer born in 1809 in Boston who died aged only forty in Baltimore in 1849. He is one of the best-known American wr…
 
Subscribe here, support The Classic Ghost Stories Podcast and obtain exclusive content. The Twisted Wood Well, it's the anniversary of the Podcast! The first episode The Yellow Wallpaper went up a year ago, and what a year it has been. The Podcast has succeeded far more than I ever thought. When I started I just wanted to read the stories I enjoyed…
 
Branch Line to Benceston by Sir Andrew Caldecott Branch Line to Benceston was published in the collection Not Exactly Ghosts in 1947. He turned to writing after retirement from the Malaysian Civil Service, again like many of our ghost story writers, he had a career in the Colonial Civil Service of the British Empire. Sadly, he didn’t live long afte…
 
In which Sir Blackwood and Dame Leslie are joined by author, Kieran Higgins, to talk about his second Arthurian book; The Forbidden Sister, the companion novel to The Forgotten Sister. We also find out more about his new book, The Jealous Brother. Which did he prefer writing more? How difficult was it aligning the timelines? What is his favourite c…
 
Blind Man's Buff by Herbert Russell Wakefield H R Wakefield was born in 1888 in Sandgate, Kent, England and died 1964. He was the son of the Bishop of Birmingham. He was educated at the prestigious Marlborough College and then went to Oxford University where he studied history and played cricket, golf, hockey and football. He was secretary to Visco…
 
Elias And The Draug I got this tale from Roald Dahls' Book of Ghost Storieswhich is a very well-curated collection. Often, ghost stories collections are just a rehash of the same old tired stories, but Roald Dahl put some goodies in this one. Of course, Dahl was of Norwegian descent, so it is perhaps natural he should include a Norwegian writer. Th…
 
Snake in The Attic by Garrett Johnson Garrett is an English professor in Houston Texas who is married with two boys, and has recently moved house. You now know why. We discussed whether I should do the story in a British or an American accent and we decided that I could do it in my native tones because I could after all have moved to the USA to tea…
 
Part Four of The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions Part 4 of The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onion starts off with another philosophical discourse by the unseen narrator. I'm not clear whether these are Paul Oleron's thoughts, or the narrator's observations. He talks about a letter dropped, disregarded that lies, and I guess this refers to a let…
 
Part Three of The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions This section comprises parts 8, 9 and 10 of The Beckoning Fair One. I find the first section of 8 a bit long, and if I'd been his editor, I would have cut it. That's the bit where he muses somewhat abstractly with long words about this and that. However, the next bit when Elsie comes round and t…
 
Part Two of The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions The first part of section five of The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions has him sitting in the house listening to the noises and from nowhere he begins to muse that someone in the future might have an impression of a ghost that was started by his presence. This section achieves two things; first…
 
In which Dame Leslie and Sir Blackwood find themselves in the 90s to take a look at this made for TV film of Time Travel. Will this be an Excellent Adventure or a Bogus Journey? Music: Arthurian Mythia Theme by Invictus Media End Theme Monty Python Intermission Song - Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail Links: Amazon - Lancelot: Guardian…
 
The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions Because this story is actually a novella, I am splitting it probably into three episodes much as I did for Carmilla by J Sheridan Le Fanu. I'm doing The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions for a couple of reasons. Firstly, of course it is a classic ghost story and has been described as a 'cut above' the stand…
 
M R James This is the third story we've done by M R James, previous ones being The Experiment and Episode 3: Whistle and I'll Come to You. We talked about James the man there. In a nutshell, he was an academic who had jobs at Eton College and Cambridge University. The heroes of his stories tend to be dusty old academics like himself. He is consider…
 
Angus Wolfe Murray Angus Wolfe Murray was born in 1937 and now lives at Traquair in the Scottish Borders. With his late wife he founded Canongate Publishers. He comes from a celebrated Scottish family and his details can be found in the peerage. Edcated at Eton and working as a journalist and latterly a film critic. He is still alive, and while I a…
 
Boomerang by Oscar Cook First of all, this story was requested by Peter Denyer. To be fair he merely suggested it and I went and hunted it down, so I accept all responsiblity for the gruesomeness of it. Richard Martin Oscar Cook was born in London in 1888 and died also in London in 1952. His father owned an athletic goods company and they were fair…
 
The Bridal Party by S Mukerjee S Mukerji, whose name appears in various transliterations, including S Mukherjee, published his book of Indian Ghost Stories in 1917. I can find no biographical information on him, or even what his first name was. I wondered if he were related to the Mukherjee family who pioneered Indian cinema in the early 20th Centu…
 
Georgina Bruce Georgina Bruce is a British writer, born in the West Midlands of England but who has taught English in different parts of the world, not least in sub-tropical Okinawa in Japan before spending the last ten years or so teaching in less sub-tropical Edinburgh, Scotland. Little Heart Little Heart is a dark tale that explores a woman's co…
 
Shirley Jackson Shirley Hardie Jackson was bon in 1916 in San Francisco, California and died in Vermont in 1965 aged only 48. Though born in California, she attended Syracuse University in New York where she became involved in literary affairs. She published her first novel in 1948 when she was 32, but it was her short story The Lottery that brough…
 
Mr Jones by Edith Wharton This is the second Edith Wharton story we've read, the first being Bewitched which was Episode 4. Wharton was an American of course but she spent time in England and set a number of her ghost stories there. This story is the third of a series of stories where the house is a major character. In this story of course, the hou…
 
John Buchan: John Buchan, officially 1st Baron Tweedsmuir was born in 1875 in Perth, Scotland and died in 1940 aged only 64 in Montreal, Canada. He was Governor General of Canada until he died in office. His father was a minister of the Church of Scotland. Many of our ghost story writers are children of clergymen. He studied Classics at the Univers…
 
Rudyard Kipling Rudyard Kipling was the great poet of British Imperialism. He was born in 1865 in Mumbai (then Bombay) British India. He died in London, England in 1936 aged 70. He was named Rudyard because that was the place his parents had met and courted at Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire, England. Kipling was well-connected. HIs cousin was a cons…
 
We journey back to the land of Wrogles where Arthur rides to meet with Leodegrance but along the way he is ambushed by Lavic's men. Can Arthur escape and who is the brave, brilliant mysterious knight who rides to his rescue-- it's Lancelot. Of course it's Lancelot. Special Thanks: Fuck Yeah Arthuriana for your brilliant efforts in providing subtitl…
 
Megan Taylor Megan is a British author, who has four novels, the latest being We Wait UK link and We Wait USA Link Megan lives in Nottingham, England. She teaches Creative Writing workshops has published four novels: We Wait (the latest, which is a haunted house story), The Woman Under the Ground which is a collection of short stories, The Lives of…
 
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde Themes "As we think in our hearts, so are we." (Proverbs, 23.7) The Twins Most cultures have a fascination with the phenomenon of twins. Jekyll and Hyde can be understood to be a strange type of twin. Castor and Pollux were twins in Classical Mythology, both had the same mother (as would be expected): Leda, but each had a differ…
 
Robert Louis Stevenson R L Stevenson was born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenons in 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He died aged only 44 in Samoa. He was phenomenally successful in his time and is still remembered for such classics as Treasure Island, Kidnapped and of course The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Robert Louis (he changed his name from…
 
Alex Boast Alex Boast is a young British writer, born in Ipswich, raised in Surrey and living in London. He has an MA in Creative Writing and is constantly improving his skills by writing on Medium and Quora as well as doing Master Class courses and attending writing courses by the British writing school The Arvon Foundation. He has a love of ghost…
 
L T C Rolt Lionel Thomas Caswall Rolt, was an English writer born in 1910 and who died in 1974, therefore for us, he's a recent writer! He was a prolific writer who had an interest in engineering and that shows in this story in his description of the tunnels and the knowledge of ventilation shafts which are integral to the plot of the story. In kee…
 
Guy Boothby Guy Boothby was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1867 and died in Bournemouth, England in 1905. At the time of his birth South Australia was a recently established British colony and his father's family were important administrators and legislators of the colony. Boothby's mother was English and she separated from his father when he was o…
 
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Or to give him his full name, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in 1859 in Edinburgh in Scotland and he died in Crowborough, Sussex, England aged 71. His family name was just Doyle and Conan was his middle name but taking Ignatius and Conan together with the surname Doyle, he could hardly be anything other than of Iris…
 
Conrad Aiken Conrad Aiken was an American poet and author born in Savannah, Georgia in 1889 and died in Savannah in 1973 aged 84. His family were wealthy, originally from New England, but his father was an eye surgeon who moved to Savannah. Most bizarrely and disturbingly, Aiken’s father murdered Aiken’s mother and shot himself in 1901. Aiken was 1…
 
Howard Phillips Lovecraft HP Lovecraft was perhaps the most influential writer of horror and weird tales of his generation. That may not have been evident during his life or even for a while after his death, but his work continues to be made into movies The Colour Out of Space was recently released, starring Nicholas Cage which is a based on Lovecr…
 
William Somerset Maugham W. Somerset Maugham was born in 1873 in Paris and died in Nice in 1965, was despite his brith and death places, English. He was a fantastically successful writer, being the highest paid author of the 1930s. His parents died when Maugham was only 10 and he was brought up by his uncle, a clergyman, and sent to King’s School, …
 
Richard Henry Malden R H Malden was born in 1879 in England and died in August 1951. He was brought up in East Anglia. He was educated at Eton and King’s College Cambridge and was a long-standing friend of M R James. He spent his career as a churchman, working across England from Salford to Cambridge then Leeds and Ripon and then Wells in Somerset.…
 
Vernon Lee Despite sounding so masculine, Vernon Lee was actually a woman called Violet Paget, born in France in 1856 and died in Italy in 1935. Despite these location she identified as English. Her biographer Vineta Colby says that Lee was English by nationality, French by an accident of birth and Italian by choice. As well as the ghost stories fo…
 
Oliver Onions Oliver Onions was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England in 1873 and died in Aberystwyth in Wales in 1961, His father was a bank cashier. When he was a young man he was an amateur boxer. He didn’t like the surname Onions and changed it legally to George Oliver but still published his stories under the name Oliver Onions. Onions is in fa…
 
The Horla by Guy de Maupassant Welcome to Episode 35 of the Classic Ghost Stories Podcast! What would really help me would be if you could think of one friend or acquaintance who would enjoy the Classic Ghost Stories Podcast and share it with them! If every listener is helpful enough to do this for me, then we would double the podcast every week! I…
 
Aleksandr Pushkin Aleksandr Sergeyeviçh Pushkin was a Russian poet, playwright and novelist. He was born in 1799 in Moscow and died aged on 37 in St Petersburg. Hie was fatally wounded on a duel fought with his brother in law, a soldier who had attempted to seduce Pushkin’s wife. Pushkin’ great-grandfather was African, kidnapped from Africa, probab…
 
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