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Old 12-18-2010, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default A Warning to the Curious - Inspiration for The Lost Crown

In my conversations with Jonathan Boakes it came up that he was quite a fan of M.R. James' weird tales. Reading through the two-volume Penguin collected editions of James' tales, I was struck by how close The Lost Crown is to the spirit of those tales. Jonathan obviously draws much of his inspiration from them.

Places, people. Several are referenced in the game. One of the main ones that comes to mind is Karswell, although Karswell (from "Casting the Runes") is quite a malicious individual, distinct from the reasonably merry couple in the game.

The most interesting tale for Lost Crown fans is "A Warning to the Curious", as the game could be considered a reimagining of or a sequel to the original story.

It features the East Anglian coastal town of Seaburgh, with its own train station at the end of the line (just like Saxton). The characters stay in an inn called The Bear, and are told the tale of the discovery of one of the three lost Anglo-Saxon crowns. There is a Martello tower along the shoreline, as well as a wood and barrow (burial mound) on the hill near a cottage at "North Field". Add to that the references to Nathaniel, Frederick and William Ager!

There is more I would like to talk of, but that would spoil the plot of the game/story for those who have not seen either/both.

You can read the excellent tale here: http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/warning.html

James' wrote the story with Aldeburgh, Suffolk in mind, as well as the churches at nearby Friston and Theberton. The Friston church supposedly features a symbol of three crowns above the porch. Aldeburgh is about an hour in the car for me, so I'll have to pop over there and do the usual honours with photographs and videos!
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:34 AM   #2
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I've just read the tale. An excellent read and striking resemblance to the world of "Lost Crown". No wonder that Boakes was inspired by this, though I dare to say that I like his vision even better.

P.S. Looking forward to your documentary of the site.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:10 PM   #3
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Oh yes, I love M.R. James, and the "Warning to the Curious". I love how it starts calmly, and then evolves. You can definitely see the similarity between this and "Lost Crown". And in the game, there is a poster for M.R. James in Celtic Corner, as well as Nigel saying "a warning to the curious" sometime during the game.

I loved this story, and in the "Pins and Needles" collection of the first two Dark Falls, Boakes included a collection of his favorite ghost stories. Well worth the read.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:59 AM   #4
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I've got a new camcorder so I'm hoping to head up to Aldeburgh as soon as the weather clears. Then I need to do a Bracken Tor documentary!
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:33 AM   #5
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If anyone has been to Jonathan's site dedicated to "A Warning to the Curious" (http://www.darklingroom.co.uk/curious/), please help me find the 3rd prayer book, it's driving me crazy trying to find it!!
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:03 AM   #6
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Nope I can't find it either and now its driving me mad! >_<
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