M.R. James and the ghost of Saint Bertrand de Comminges (Dennis Aubrey)


My great life friend Peter Brown sent me a link today to a wonderful recording from the Guardian Short Stories Podcast. The story is ‘Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook’ by M.R. James, published in 1895. The story is read by author Ruth Rendell.

M.R. James (1 August 1862 – 12 June 1936)

M.R. James (1 August 1862 – 12 June 1936)


Montague Rhodes James was an English medievalist who is remembered today for his non-scholarly contributions, his ghost stories. He wrote one story a year which he read each year at Christmas to his friends. The full text of the story can be found here.

So please take the time to spend twenty or so minutes listening to this wonderful Victorian ghost story set in the town of Saint Bertrand-de-Comminges.



James certainly captures the fascination of these old churches and cathedrals and the sense of mystery that often pervades them. This ghost story is a perfect little reminder of the medieval world that still lingers in the old stones of the church of Saint Bertrand-de-Comminges and her sisters throughout France.

Cathedrale Sainte Marie, Saint Bertrand-de-Comminges (Haute-Garonne)  Photo by Dennis Aubrey

Cathedrale Sainte Marie, Saint Bertrand-de-Comminges (Haute-Garonne) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

9 responses to “M.R. James and the ghost of Saint Bertrand de Comminges (Dennis Aubrey)

    • I was not familiar with his work prior to receiving the link to this recording. Now I have the pleasure of reading the rest of them – and I love the title “The Tractate Middoth”!

      • MR James was the master of the psychological horror tale…. Filled with atmosphere. Glad you will be reading some of his works 😱

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