The Black Mass 7: An Evening’s Entertainment by M R James

Join us on Fri­day at a lit­tle after 12 noon or 4pm Pacif­ic time for anoth­er episode in the land­mark radio dra­ma series The Black Mass, cre­at­ed by the late Erik Bauers­feld and his col­leagues at the Paci­fi­ca radio sta­tion KPFA in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, over fifty years ago. In 30 chill­ing tales of mys­tery, imag­i­na­tion and the human mind, The Black Mass brings you some of literature’s most haunt­ing sto­ries, by mas­ters of the craft — many of whom are best-known in oth­er fields.

Note that the episode will not start until the track play­ing at the top of the hour has fin­ished, so the actu­al start time of the episode will be a few min­utes after the hour.

Today: An Evening’s Enter­tain­ment by M R James

Mon­tague Rhodes James OM FBA (1 August 1862 – 12 June 1936) was an Eng­lish author, medieval­ist schol­ar and provost of King’s Col­lege, Cam­bridge (1905–1918), and of Eton Col­lege (1918–1936). He was Vice-Chan­cel­lor of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­bridge (1913–15).

Though James’s work as a medieval­ist and schol­ar is still high­ly regard­ed, he is best remem­bered for his ghost sto­ries, which some regard as among the best in the genre. He rede­fined the ghost sto­ry for the new cen­tu­ry by aban­don­ing many of the for­mal Goth­ic clichés of his pre­de­ces­sors and using more real­is­tic con­tem­po­rary set­tings. How­ev­er, his pro­tag­o­nists and plots tend to reflect his own anti­quar­i­an inter­ests. Accord­ing­ly, he is known as the orig­i­na­tor of the “anti­quar­i­an ghost story”.

The Black Mass art­work was cre­at­ed by Ter­ry Lightfoot.