Episodes

  • Amelia B EdwardsBorn in 1831 in London and died in 1892 aged 60 in Weston Supermare at the seaside near Bristol. She was a novelist, traveller and enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist. Her mother was Irish and her father had been an officer in the British Army and then became a banker.  She was married, but her emotional attachments were with women and she lived with and was apparently in love with Ellen Braysher, widow, and Ellen Byrne a school inspector’s wife.A Night on The Borders of the Black Forest was recommended by Nadia Astorga in May 2022This is the third story by Amelia B we’ve done, the other’s being The Phantom Coach and Salome. This is the first of hers that is less a ghost story (if fact not a ghost story at all) and more an adventure.  The collection of stories is also entitled A Night On The Borders of the Black Forests and was published in 1890.For comparison Le Fanu’s Carmilla set in Styria in Austria was published in 1872 and Stoker’s Dracula was published in 1897. Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Grey Woman was published in 1861. It reminded me most of The Grey Woman because it is set in the border area of France and Germany at about the same period and there are brigands in the woods in both.It’s a definite nod to the Gothic but also a right rollicking adventure story and so reminds of The Grey Woman but also the Scottish set  A Journey of Little Profit by John Buchan from 1896, because it is also a tale of wanderings on foot and George Borrow’s Wild Wales was published in 1862, which deals with supposedly true wanderings in the Wild.Mary Braddon’s The Cold Embrace and Hoffman’s The Sandman also have people tramping all over Germany and venturing into France and the Netherlands. It must have been busy on the roads. Wordsworth had an edition of the Prelude out in 1850. This thrilling love for mountainous wild places titillated the middle class urban readers on a trivial level while Wordsworth was aiming for the spiritual, but each to their own indeed.The story structure: Neat. Enjoying the milieu as much as anything. The tramping over the countryside. On his own, meets up with Gustav, on to the village, the coach trip, wandering at night, the inn, suspicions mount.  The innkeeper won’t drink the wine. It tastes bad. It smells funny as does the coffee.Burned! Why not set the dogs on them? Why not just poison them dead rather than drug them with a soporific?  I think that’s a plot hole. And if they don’t sell the stuff they steal (it’s in the granary) what’s the point of murdering strangers? But a good read and nicely written, easy to narrate. A sprinkling of German terms for colour. Gustav shows too much interest in the slow-witted peasant girl Annchen for my liking. After all, he’s got a madchen at home.  She won’t drink the wine either. The beer seems fine though. The landlord checks how much Gustav as drunk. If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereYou could buy me a coffee https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker (https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker)Become a Patronhttps://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)And you can join my mailing list and get a  free audiobook: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)Music By The Heartwood Institutehttps://bit.ly/somecomeback*** (https://bit.ly/somecomeback***)

  • The Catacomb by Peter Shilston was recommended by one of my Patreons but it was hard to get hold of. It was published in the early 1980s in a fanzine for lovers of M R James's stories who wrote stories in a similar vein. This home-produced magazine was called More Ghosts and Scholars and is very hard to get hold of. Then it was reprinted in Best of Ghosts and Scholars and Best Horror Volume 9 edited by Karl Wagner. These are collectors items and expensive so I despaired of getting hold of the story but wanted to because it was so highly recommended. Eventually I bit the bullet and shelled out (see what I did there?) for More Ghosts & Scholars on Ebay. It arrived. I read it. I hope you like it. It is followed by my thoughts about the story which in now typical fashion degenerates into random related thoughts.I hope you enjoy my rendition. You could consider supporting my efforts by buying me a coffee one off or signing up as a Patreon. This latter includes members only readings and early access to regular podcast episodes.If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereYou can become a Patreon of the show for exclusive members’ only stories:https://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)And if you want to thank me (think of a busker’s hat) then you can get me a coffee via http://www.ko-fi.com/tonywalker (www.ko-fi.com/tonywalker)Join my mailing list and get a download: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)Music By The Heartwood Institutehttps://bit.ly/somecomeback (https://bit.ly/somecomeback)————————

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  • The Middle Toe of the Right Foot by Ambrose Bierce is a ghost story set in the late 19th Century in the American south-west. A tightly crafted tale with at least three twists, even though it's short.Thanks to 23Split23 for recommending it, and Dewayne Hayes for recommending Bierce in general. Amazed it's only the second Bierce story I've done. Well worth it though.If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereYou could buy me a coffee https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker (https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker)Become a Patronhttps://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)And you can join my mailing list and get a  free audiobook: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)Music By The Heartwood Institutehttps://bit.ly/somecomeback*** (https://bit.ly/somecomeback***)

  • Mean Mr Mullins by Cathu Sahu is an original story by a living author: Cathy Sahu. A tale of a nasty man set in small-town America (at least I think it's small town, maybe suburban). For the post-story discussion, I read out notes sent in by Cathu and ramble a bit on the general themes.Cathy Sahu's book Ghosts & Other Unpleasantries can be found https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghosts-Other-Unpleasantries-C-S-Sahu/dp/0997578505/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?crid=1AVFQU3Z2PLKC&keywords=cathy+sahu+ghosts&qid=1653129438&sprefix=cathy+sahu+ghosts%2Caps%2C81&sr=8-2-fkmr0 (here)This is Amazon UK link, but you should be able to hop to Amazon USA and all the other Amazons from it.If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereYou could buy me a coffee https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker (https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker)Become a Patronhttps://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)And you can join my mailing list and get a  free audiobook: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)Music By The Heartwood Institutehttps://bit.ly/somecomeback*** (https://bit.ly/somecomeback***)

  • The Secret Of The Vault by J Wesley RosenquestRecommended by Mary Ware in August 2021. Published in Weird Tales, May 1938J WESLEY ROSENQUEST or Rosenquest was an American Sci-fi writer.  That's all we know about him. Unless you have a lead?If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereYou could buy me a coffee https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker (https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker)Become a Patronhttps://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)And you can join my mailing list and get a  free audiobook: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)Music By The Heartwood Institutehttps://bit.ly/somecomeback*** (https://bit.ly/somecomeback***)

  • The Call of Cthulhu by H P Lovecraft was commissioned by Gavin Critchley for me to read for all of you. Thanks to Gavin!
    The foundation story of Cosmic Horror and the Cthulhu Mythos. Get a cup of tea, sit comfortably and be prepared to go insane at the revelation of monstrous fate that awaits us all.
    ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In Here
    You can become a Patreon of the show for exclusive members’ only stories:
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  • Anthony BoucherAnthony Boucher known as was the pen name of William Anthony Parker White and he was known at Tony. He was born in 1911 in Oakland California and died aged only 56 in Oakland of lung cancer. I guess he liked it there.  He graduated from Pasadena High in 1928 and went to the University of Southern California and did his masters at University of California, Berkely. Boucher is to rhyme with Voucher rather than the French bouche. Boucher was close to his grandfather who had been a steel worker in Glasgow and got free passage to America after signing up to fight in the Civil War. He couldn’t have afforded the passage otherwise. It’s said that the grandfather who made a big impression on Boucher was a rake and a rogue. He was a sickly child with asthma and other illnesses and this made him a voracious reader and later writer. Boucher was a professional writer of fiction who wrote mystery novels, short stories, science fiction and radio dramas. His story Nine Times Nine was voted the best locked room master of all time. He edited anthologies of science fiction and was a translator from Spanish, being the first to translate Jorge Luis Borges (I must do one of his stories). Boucher founded the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and edited it from 1949 to 1958.  He was a friend and mentor of Philip K. Dick. In addition to other things he was a keen poker player, a sports fan and a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. He collected records of early operatic singers. Apparently he was a friend of the occultist Jack Parsons who also lived in PasadenaHis first story was published in 1927 in Weird Tales when he was 15. It was entitled “Ye Good Olde Ghost Storie”. They BiteThis story was suggested by many many people. I watched a couple of videos on how to do Western accents, but I think I have not succeeded very well and hope that doesn’t detract from the story.This is a classic folk horror story albeit set in the American West, though it references Sweeny Bean a Gaelic cannibal from Galloway.  Boucher’s grandfather was from Scotland. The story is similar to Samantha Hick’s story: Back Along The Old Track, though I don’t think Sam’s story was consciously modelled on this. The similarity is in the trope. Also similar is Lovecraft’s Dreams In The Witch House. It isn’t clear to me why Tallant is climbing the rocks all day or has come here at all. He makes notes of what he sees of the glider training school. Perhaps he is going to sell what he sees to the highest bidder – some sort of freelance spy.Some of the characters I don’t get. The old man who warns Tallant and whose dog is killed by the Carker. The young man with the beard who is a stranger, the Flight Sergeant on the pinball machine and the construction worker being fleeced at poker. I don’t get those, apart from Boucher’s real life love of poker. He only needs one Warner and the bartender really.  He is planning blackmail but I don’t get how the Carker story will help that. I wasn’t surprised when he killed Morgan. I think the dream of him being a superman king narcissist type let me know he was not a bloody good bloke. But it is Morgan’s murder that leads to Tallant’s doom. It is his fiendish plan to attribute Morgan’s death the the Carkers that leads him inside their tumble down adobe.    It has an unreliable narrator. Remember Boucher was a mystery writer and the unreliable narrator became a staple after Agatha Christie. There is no hint that Tallant is a blackmailer. In a sense he is like the Crakers who have come to Oasis opportunistically in search of prey — as has Morgan, a fellow blackmailer. There is a hint to Tallant’s shady past at the beginning, but no detail given so that when the twist comes it is satisfying. The end is a moral tale of the biter bit. We like stories that reinforces our ideas of good and bad and that bad needs go punished.The things themselves...

  • The Crown Derby Plate by Marjorie Bowen is a classic ghost story and much requested. It has a ghost, a remote haunted house, windswept Essex marshes, a set of china and a naive and rather pushy heroine. A fun story that I enjoyed reading out.If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereA good was is to to spread the word about the podcast!You could buy me a coffee https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker (https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker)Become a Patronhttps://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)And you can join my mailing list and get a  free audiobook: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)Music By The Heartwood Institutehttps://bit.ly/somecomeback*** (https://bit.ly/somecomeback***)

  • E F BensonEdward Frederic Benson was born in 1867 at Wellington College, where his father was headmaster,  in Berkshire just outside London and died at University College London at the age of 72. His father went on to be Bishop of Truro, and Cornwall features in both his and his brothers’ stories, and then Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest ranking of the Anglican Church. He was the fifth child. His illustrious brother A C Benson wrote the words to Land of Hope and Glory, a patriotic English song and some fine ghost stories, although probably not as good as EF’s. His other brother also wrote ghost stories but he was a committed Catholic and RH Benson’s stories often contain religious lessons rather than being merely fun.His sister Margaret was an amateur Egyptologist and author. Two other siblings died young.E F Benson was educated at Marlborough College and then went to King’s College Cambridge.  His first book was Sketches from Marlborough and he was most famous in his lifetime for the Mapp and Lucia comic novel series. Arguably however his ghost stories are his greatest legacy.  Some of these including this one How Fear Departed The Long Gallery have comic elements, particularly the kind of humour that observes and gently satirises the social class he moved in — otherwise known as the idle rich. A status I aspire to myself, and with your help will one day reach.How Fear Departed The Long GalleryThe story starts with a rather comic picture of a genteel English county family who live in a long occupied ancestral house full of quirky ghosts. Then after the comedy we are told about the scary ghosts: the murdered children, murdered quite horribly by Dirty Dick.  It was one of those murders like Richard III, motivated by a desire to wipe out the line and inheritI think the scariness of children is if I may say like that of a doll. It’s the uncanny valley. They are both like and unlike adults. They look like us, but we cannot be sure they think like us or what they will do. Who is hiding behind the eyes of the child. Anne Rice does this with her child vampire Claudia and there was a child vampire in Skyrim too. Just saying.The servant who first sees the toddlers dies. Then Miss Canning, the great beauty and friend of Voltaire mocks th twins and gets a horrible lichen disease. E F wrote a few horror stories that feature diseases, notably Caterpillars. Colonel Blantyre shot at the poor ghosts. Miss Canning told them to get back into the fire.  When Madge wakes in the Long gallery after dark and gets lost in the furniture and disorientated that’s like the Blind. Man’s Buff story we did. Lighten Our Darkness indeed, and figuratively by mercy.  So it’s a story about redemptionIf You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereIf You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereYou could buy me a coffee https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker (https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker)Become a Patronhttps://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)And you can join my mailing list and get a  free audiobook: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)Music By The Heartwood Institutehttps://bit.ly/somecomeback*** (https://bit.ly/somecomeback***)

  • The Hounds of Tindalos by Frank Belknap LongFrank Belknap  Long was born in 1901 in Harlem, New York (not the Netherlands) and died in 1992 aged 92 in Manhattan.He was a horror and science fiction writer and is most famous for his contribution to the stories of the Cthulhu Mythos.The Cthulhu Mythos begins with H P Lovecraft, but many other authors have contributed towards the corpus of stories that the faithful call ‘The Canon’.   It was his 1921 story The Eye Above The Mantel that caught Lovecraft’s eye. That story was a pastiche of Edgar Allan Poe and I have elsewhere commented on that histrionic overblown prose that contains many screaming crazy dudes and occult blasphemous horrors which is found first and best in Poe, then Lovecraft and here in this lovely story.Frank and Howard maintained a long correspondence. Lovecraft was famous for his lengthy and multiple pen friendships as he sat shut up and nervous in his room. He became a mentor to Frank. Frank contributed to the pulp magazinesThe Hounds of TindalosChalmers. Prefers illuminated manuscripts to adding machines and leering stone gargoyles to automobiles. Who doesn’t?  He has a long nose and slightly receding chin. His bookcase has medieval pamphlets about sorcery, witchcraft and black magic (surely triple tautology)  but again, what’s not normal in any of this? Although I think that Frank is setting it up for the norms so they get the idea that Chalmers is a bit weird. He has the same name as the Australian Philosopher David Chalmers who famously came up with the term ‘the hard problem’ to describe how in a materialist way of thinking, matter can give rise to subjective experience. It’s as hard a problem as how cows make lollipops. We simply can’t figure either of them out.So, Frank is using ‘modern science’ in the guise of Einstein to undermine the self-confident materialists, particularly regarding time. He throws this is in like spice. He lets us know that Einstein is relative: we each have our own versions.  Our interlocutor is our avatar. Think how hard it would be to write a story with one character? You need two to bring out the exposition. Anyway, on we go, getting more and more theatrical with each sentence. But this idea about curves and angles seems original and it is quite weird. Like Lovecraft’s Colour Out of Space, an abstract idea like a colour or an angle can be jarringly weird. Weird is all about juxtapositions that should not be, and taking things out of context because they are juxtaposed with other, odd contents.It sort of reminded me of H G Wells’ The Time Machine particularly the 1950s film version. The Hounds of Tindalos was the first Cthulhu story written by anyone else than Lovecraft and we have references to Dholes and the Elder Races. Other than that, there is no clear connection, unless a Mythos buff can correct me. The Hounds of Tindalos are not actual dogs in this story. Other Mythos writers like Ramsey Campbell, Lin Carter, Brian Lumley and Peter Cannon reference the Hounds.  The the name Tindalos sounds Greek and there are references ‘The Greeks had a name for them, ‘ I don’t think Tindalos means anything.The name Halpin is one I have only come across before in the work of Ambrose Bierce The Death of Halpin Frayser . Perhaps it is a common name in America, but I’ve heard in speech here. 20lb of plaster of Paris seems a lot. Despite the plaster of Paris smoothing out the corners of the room (I should have liked to have seen that), the Hounds find a way in by causing an earthquake which causes the plaster to fall and thus angles are created…A hopeless maniac. I could tell you about those.   With the later excerpts from the news and the story of his neighbour who’d gone to let his cat in, I wondered if there wasn’t humour here?  The superintendent on finding the body walks to the open window and stares for five minutes

  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus HoffmanE T A Hoffman, as he is known, was born in 1776 in Konigsberg, East Prussia, Germany and died in Berlin, Germany of syphilis, which was extremely prevalent. He was only 46.  He was a romantic author of fantasy and Gothic horror as well as being a composer, music critic and artist. He wrote the Nutcracker and the Mouse King which was the basis of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker and Offenbach’s opera The Tales of Hoffman is based on E T A Hoffman’s works.His parents separated when he was 12. He remained with his mother and aunts. He was very fond of his aunts. He started work in 1796 for his uncle as a clerk. He visited Dresden and was impressed by the paintings in the gallery there.  He lived and worked for his uncle in Berlin from 1798. From 1800 he lived and worked away from home and took to a dissolute lifestyle. He was promoted and got a job in Warsaw in 1804. He was happy in Warsaw, but went back to Berlin which was occupied by Napoleon’s armies. In 1808 he got a job in Bamburg as a theatre manager. He was given to falling in love, once with a young music student Julia Marc and another time with a married woman 10 years old who had six children.  He also appears to had challenges with alcohol most of his adult life. The SandmanThe Sandman is Hoffman’s best loved and most influential story. It was a favourite of Sigmund Freud and we might see some influence of this story on Tim Burton’s films. M. Grant Kellermeyer on his great ghost story site says that the Sandman exists to sow suffering and everything he touches. Coppelius as the Sandman wants to throw hot coals and sparks into the eyes, not the soporific sand.The story begins with a series of letters. This was a common convention and later Hoffman steps in as the author and discusses different ways he had thought of beginning the story. One can’t help think that he was amusing himself with this story as he seems to be satirising certain classes of people, notably Romantics.  The Romantic Movement grew up towards the end of the 18th Century and lasted into the 19th Century, dated to end at the crowning of Queen Victoria in England in 1837.I think the first letter from Nathanael setting out his horrified fantasies about the Sandman Coppelius is to establish him as a credulous and impressionable boy given to neurotic terrors. He seems incapable of distinguishing truth from his fantasies and believes his inward passions rather than objective facts. Again, I think Hoffman is poking fun at Romanticism.There is some theme of eyes. Coppelius seems to want to steal Nathanael’s eyes, and eyes and optics crop up again and again. When Coppelius and Nathanael’s father are working as alchemists, they seem to be building automata. Clara’s letter establishes her (a woman) as level headed and logical and not given to fancies. They are at odds in this and I feel that Hoffman is making fun of the brooding romantics who believed that nature should lead over thinking.  Clara is endlessly forgiving and devoted to Nathanael despite him not really deserving it as he is moody and unfaithful with a robot and then tries to kill her. In the end, we hear that she has found someone more worthwhile to love and have children with.Amusingly, when Clara doesn’t love his gloomy poem he calls her a lifeless automaton. The story is filled with little jokes like this.Nathanael does not believe in free will. Clara does. Nathanael believes that we are controlled by mighty powers greater than ourselves. Clara denies this and says we are fooled by our own fancies if we think this. Ironically, that is what kills Nathanael and drives him mad.Some translations use Oh! Oh! Oh! for Olympia’s words, but the translation I used uses the original German Ach! Ach! Ach!If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereYou could buy me a coffee https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker (https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker)...

  • Walter de la MareWalter de la Mare is most famous as a poet. He was born in 1873 in Charlton in south-east London not far from Greenwich. It was then part of the county of Kent but has now been gobbled up by Greater London. He was offered a knighthood twice but declined.De La Mare died in 1956, aged 83, in Middlesex.   He had a heart attach in 1947 and was left unwell until his death of another in 1956. He was highly regarded as a poet and  T. S. Eliot wrote a poem for his funeral service. His ashes are buried in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral.  His writings were a favourite reading matter of H P Lovecraft and admired by Robert Aickman and Ramsey Campbell.His family were originally French, from the Protestant Huguenots who fled persecution by the Catholic King of France. His ancestors had been silk merchants, but his father was a banker and his mother was the daughter of a Scottish naval surgeon.He disliked the name Walter and his friends called him Jack.When he was 17, he went to work for Standard Oil in the statistics department, but he was already writing and his first volume of work was published when he was twenty-nine.He married his wife, who was impoverished after meeting her the amateur dramatic society of which they were both members. They lived in Anerley, where I once lived, a rather nondescript part of South London next to the more famous Crystal Palace. They were apparently great entertainers and hosted many parties.Most of the fiction he wrote was supernatural fiction.His style is elegant but his sentences are complex with lots of sub-clauses making him nearly has hard to read out as Henry James. This is a story written to be read rather than read out, I think.Out of The DeepThe story unfolds slowly. Jimmie, an orphan boy has not been ill-treated by his uncle and aunt from what we hear, but he disliked their characters and was tormented by their butler Soames. It appears, though were are not told, that after he became a man, he left them and the hated house where he had been so unhappy and was reluctant to go back even after he inherited the house. As well as the physical torment of his time in the attic he had memories of things coming out of the wardrobe and the crab patterned paper that came alive. (Like the Yellow Wallpaper). He seems to have hated everything about his boyhood, including going to church, fatty meat and the ugly old-age of his relatives.  We learn from his aunt that he’s always suffered from anxiety and is timid. There is some tension between him wanting to be good little boy and feeling he never quite managed it. Although in his adulthood, he doesn’t seem to do much that’s bad. He seems to do his best. But he never rises above the pointless misery of the house. It’s all miserable and suffuses the story.He lies awake thinking like a fountain. He has little human company and appears to have cut off what friends he had before moving into the house as he if knew he was preparing for his death.He has his charwoman Mr Thripps who considers the house unpleasant and doesn’t want to sleep a night there for a plate of sovereigns, even though she would out of duty to Jimmie. I warmed to Mrs Thripps and though Victorian and Edwardian writers mostly portray the working-classes as idiots, thugs and criminals, there is a warmness to Mrs Thripps that makes her more likeable than Jimmie, though Jimmie does nothing to offend us really. I don’t know whether De La Mare intended that.Jimmie uses his witty speech to deflect from the deep despair and unhappiness in him.  He is quite nice to the tradespeople he meets and gives the impression of wanting to be cheerful and good to make up for ht misery of his beginnings.  But ultimately it is a misery he can’t escape.Sadly, the tale reminded me of the stories of many of the patients I encounter who have a childhood of abuse they struggle to overcome and struggle to achieve any real...

  • Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron DunsanyEdward John Moreton Draw Plunkett, or Lord Dunsany was known to his friends as Eddie. Lord Dunsany was born in 1878 in London England and died in 1957 in Dublin Ireland.  Though born in England, he was heir to the oldest inhabited house in Ireland: Dunsany Castle near Tara. In County Meath.He worked to support the Abbey Theatre in Dublin with W B Yeats and Lady Gregory. In addition he was chess and pistol champion of Ireland. He was also a great traveller and, as you can tell from this story: he was a habitual hunter with horse and hounds.He was a prolific writer produced over ninety volumes of fiction, essays, poems and plays. His most famous book is possibly The King of Elfland’s Daughter and he is thought to be the first fantasy writer who set out the later genre that produced the Narnia books and The Lord of the Rings and ultimately Game of Thrones. Thirteen At TableThis story was suggested by Mike Jenkins. We have a beautiful description of the Kent countryside on a spring evening as they follow the fox. This is indeed a fox hunt and may not be to everyone’s taste but is part of the story. I like the idea that a gentleman at hounds may request a bed from any other gentleman who has a gentleman’s house.It’s s simple tale thereafter. We have host, Sir Richard Arlen, who says he has lived a wicked life. What he has done to this succession of women that means he has to dine with them every night for the past fifty years is not explained. But we understand he has wronged them and we guess perhaps he was somewhat of a rake.As the dinner goes on. It is explained that Mr Linton drinks a lot as he is dehydrated. He is also tired. He starts off by humouring the guest and then takes to his story of his wonderful twenty point hunt. The best hunt that ever was and a tale that grows in the telling. I am thinking this is a good humoured dig at huntsmen and their stories. And as he feels the need for an audience to tell his tale, slowly the ghosts become visible to Mr Linton and he begins to treat them as real people rather than as figments of his imagination. It is so slowly and delicately done that it is very effective and smooth. In the end he offends the ghosts by something he said. They are clearly very sensitive and collect slights. He is mortified, but the host is supremely grateful. There is a happy ending in that Sir Richard ArlenIt’s a humorous and pretty story. I haven’t read much Dunsany, but I’m keen to read more now.If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereIf You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In HereYou could buy me a coffee https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker (https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker)Become a Patronhttps://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)And you can join my mailing list and get a free audiobook: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)Music By The Heartwood Institutehttps://bit.ly/somecomeback*** (https://bit.ly/somecomeback***)

  • A man in a car crash starts wondering how come the crowds gather so fast, and then he wonders why they all look so familiar. He researches the answer and is about to go to the police...
    A short weird tale by the prolific master of the weird tale, Ray Bradbury
    If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In Here
    You can become a Patreon of the show for exclusive members’ only stories:
    https://www.patreon.com/barcud (https://www.patreon.com/barcud)
    And if you want to thank me (think of a busker’s hat) then you can get me a coffee via http://www.ko-fi.com/tonywalker (www.ko-fi.com/tonywalker)
    Join my mailing list and get a download: https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire (https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire)
    Music By The Heartwood Institute
    https://bit.ly/somecomeback (https://bit.ly/somecomeback)

  • A tale of the New Forest in England where Mr and Mrs Bittacy settle after years abroad. A painter with a certain talent for painting trees awakens something in the old man and he takes to wandering deep in the forest. Mrs Bittacy with her strong, Christian values is appalled by the ancient woodland spirits that her husbands seems to seek out. She loves him and wants to protect him from the ancient force of the forest. But will her love and faith be enough? Algernon Blackwood was a man of many talents and is known still for his disturbing ghost and horror stories. The Man Whom The Trees Loved is one of his classics.
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  • The Picture of Dorian Gray is now done. Hooray.
    That's it done. The commentary at the end is slightly nutty because I was tired and slightly manic. Make sure to listen to the very end.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray. Here's the latest. For those of you who are loving it, I hope you continue to enjoy this episode. For those of you who aren't into it so much, don't worry, it will soon be over.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray. I have had one of those Mandela Effect mind blips. I have thought and continued to write" A Portrait of Dorian Gray when it was published in 1880 as A Picture of Dorian Gray.
    In this Dorian goes to the bad. He will get worse, and this is just the beginning