Welcome to Part Two of The Prisoner of Windsor, our latest audio adventure in Tales for Our Time and my contemporary inversion of Anthony Hope's classic The Prisoner of Zenda. Over the last three years, Zenda has proved one of the most popular of my serializations, but even so I was impressed to hear that Rudolf Rassendyll and his adventures in Ruritania have been doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to helping Beth Williams, a New Jersey member of The Mark Steyn Club, survive lockdown:
Over the last four months I've probably listened to the whole of your Zenda (it's not Anthony Hope's, you've made it your own), along with Conan Doyle's nifty Korosko, at least three times each, I alternate but can't decide which I like better! I work from home although not in such isolation as we've been thru this year! Had never read either before, would never have thought they'd have such appeal but both provide you such a nice range of vocal types to portray, and I think you relish each one, 'Ahhh, Ruritania!' May it live on!
Beth came to see me and Dennis Miller in Reading, Pennsylvania last year, and wrote a couple of months back to urge me to get back out and on stage. But that's presently illegal throughout North America, alas, and certain governors, such as Michigan's, have come very close to declaring that live performance is never coming back. So it's all down to in-home diversions like Tales for Our Time, Beth.
In our opening instalment of The Prisoner of Windsor, poor Rudy Elphberg arrived in London and promptly found himself both robbed and arrested. In tonight's episode our ill-fated tourist confronts the reality of his situation:
And so the rightful King of Ruritania became, like every other Ruritanian male in London, a Ruritanian plumber.
If Anthony Hope were to find himself suddenly restored to the London of 2020, or indeed to almost any major western city, what would strike him as odd is the way it's now all but universally accepted by the natives that almost any service job is performed by someone from somewhere else. It would hardly be surprising then to find that among their number are more than a few Ruritanians. To hear me read the second episode of The Prisoner of Windsor, please click here and log-in. If you missed Part One, you'll find that here.
Tales for Our Time started as an experimental feature we introduced as a bonus for Mark Steyn Club members, and, as you know, I said if it was a total stinkeroo, we'd eighty-six the thing and speak no more of it. But I'm thrilled to say it's proved very popular, and and we now have quite an archive. If you're a Club member and you incline more to the stinkeroo side of things, give it your best in the Comments Section below.
We launched The Mark Steyn Club three years ago, and I'm truly grateful to all those members across the globe who've signed up to be a part of it - from Fargo to Fiji, Vancouver to Vanuatu, Cook County to the Cook Islands, West Virginia to the West Midlands. If you've enjoyed our monthly Steyn Club audio adventures and you're looking for a present for a fellow fan of classic fiction, I hope you'll consider our special Club Gift Membership. Aside from Tales for Our Time, The Mark Steyn Club does come with other benefits:
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