Happy Easter and Passover to all our Christian and Jewish listeners, wher'er you may be around the world. The churches may be shuttered, but here at Tales for Our Time the lights stay on. With time on their hands, many listeners have been exploring the delights of our back catalogue. Andrew Jones, a Steyn Club First Week Founding Member from Queensland, writes:
For my money the best story so far has been 'To Build a Fire'. Re-listened many times. The word that comes to my mind, appropriately or otherwise, is 'remorseless.
All have been enjoyable, mind.
Thank you, Andrew. "To Build a Fire" is a perfectly constructed short story, but it's also epic, because it's primal: it's a complete mastery of the form by Jack London. But do prowl around the archive, because, aside from Jack London, there's something for all moods: sci-fi, historical romance, whimsical comedy.
Meantime, welcome to Part Twenty-One of our latest audio entertainment: A Journal of the Plague Year, Daniel Defoe's account of a disease-ridden metropolis in 1665. Tonight's episode finds Londoners chafing under confinements and quarantines:
For the removal of those that were well, we thought it highly reasonable and just, for their own sakes, they should be removed from the sick, and that for other people's safety they should keep retired for a while, to see that they were sound, and might not infect others; and we thought twenty or thirty days enough for this.
Now, certainly, if houses had been provided on purpose for those that were sound to perform this demi-quarantine in, they would have much less reason to think themselves injured in such a restraint than in being confined with infected people in the houses where they lived.
Nevertheless, it is sobering to reflect that, from one contagion regime to another, Londoners were freer in 1665 than they are in the London of 2020. To say nothing of Rome, Paris, New York et al. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Twenty-One of our tale simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
We'll be right back here tomorrow, on the eve of Easter morn, with Part Twenty-Two of A Journal of the Plague Year. If you're minded to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, you're more than welcome. You can find more information here. And, if you have a chum you think might enjoy Tales for Our Time (so far, we've covered Conan Doyle, H G Wells, Dickens, Conrad, Kipling, Kafka, Gogol, Baroness Orczy, Victor Hugo, Louisa May Alcott, O Henry, John Buchan, Scott Fitzgerald and more), we have a special Gift Membership.