Sunday, 25 March 2018
Here's Alan Brown's evocative illustration for M.R. James classic tale of ghostly vengeance, which prompted me to think about the story again - as good artwork does. It's a disturbing read, but I suspect some modern folk might struggle a bit with the period dialogue in the court transcript. For me it's one of the best examples of a historical ghost story - one set in a bygone era that is expertly brought to life by the author. In Judge Jeffries James offers a very believable portrait of a real villain, acting as a kind of counterweight to George Martin, who's pretty much a broken man by the time his trial begins.
You can hear a discussion of this slightly neglected story at the excellent A Podcast to the Curious, and there a lot of useful links on the site, too.