Just ahead of Episode Twelve of The Prisoner of Windsor, thank you again for your kind comments about this caper and all our other Tales for Our Time. Over three years ago now, we launched this series of audio adventures on a whim, threw it together somewhat hastily, and learned on the job. So I'm enormously grateful for your appreciation of it.
Our current tale is my contemporary inversion of Anthony Hope's Ruritanian classic of 1894, The Prisoner of Zenda, which rings oddly relevant as Britain and much of the western world degenerate into strange fantastical fairylands. Wayne Carmichael, a First Day Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from Florida, says simply of this latest yarn:
Now that is literature.
Oh, my. You're not on the Nobel committee, are you?
You may recall, in my original serialization of Zenda, Rudolf Rassendyll saying the following:
If I were to detail the ordinary events of my daily life at this time, they might prove instructive to people who are not familiar with the inside of palaces; if I revealed some of the secrets I learnt, they might prove of interest to the statesmen of Europe. I intend to do neither of these things ...and I feel that I had far better confine myself strictly to the underground drama which was being played beneath the surface of Ruritanian politics.
In tonight's episode of our contemporary inversion, standing in for the Prime Minister, Rudolf Elphberg finds himself forced to take the opposite tack:
I had not intended to detail the chronicle of my political life, although I suppose it might prove instructive to those interested in the chancelleries of power. My preference would be to confine myself to the more dramatic narrative – planning the rescue of Robert Rassendyll from his kidnappers - so it was frustrating to have to leave that in Severn's hands while I whiled away the hours with peripheral matters like the disintegration of the EU. But Sir Roger cautioned[CH] patience. So, with nothing to do but run the country, I found myself changing government policy here and there...
And so he does, in between a trip to Buckingham Palace and another to Chequers. As he slowly realizes, he is covering for a prime minister with a lot of enemies:
'The Remainers hate him because he supported Leave. The Leavers hate him because he supported Leave half-heartedly and ineffectively. The Soft Brexiteers hate him because he championed No-Deal. The No-Dealers hate him because he reneged on No-Deal. The Norway-Plus lads hate him because he preferred Canada-Plus. The Canada-Plus crowd hate him because he abandoned Canada-Plus for Vassalage-Lite.'
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Please join me tomorrow for Part Thirteen of The Prisoner of Windsor.