Just ahead of Part Twenty-Four of our current Tale for Our Time, a reminder that we will have a morning (North American Eastern Time) complement to our nocturnal audio adventures in the Tuesday edition of The Mark Steyn Show. Hope you'll join me for that.
In tonight's episode of The Prisoner of Windsor, Rudy Elphberg finally gets to give his big speech, inspired by his tour of Westminster Abbey:
Think how great the world would be if the whole of it had had the benefit of being a British colony: That's my message to you today!
He is surprised that this does not go down well at a conference of teachers' unions. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Twenty-Four of our tale simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
A week or so back, some listeners began requesting a print version of this caper, and I responded somewhat vaguely, and inevitably the vagueness prompted all kinds of other correspondence - such as this from Philip Mason, a Texas member of the Steyn Club:
Hello Mark - regarding this outstanding tale possibly culminating in an 'actual' book: I was wondering if you might consider at least an 'ebook' in the interim?
Perhaps offering an ebook + gift card combo? That way we could essentially make a "down payment" on the future actual book... and if no actual book ever comes of this, we could use the gift card on something else in your store.
And I'd gladly pre-pay for a limited edition (perhaps some sort of signed / numbered affair), to make an actual book worthy of your time & effort. And since I haven't seen anyone else suggest a limited edition run, I'd like to respectfully request one of the lowest signed number editions (say 1 thru 5?). :)
Thank you, Philip. I have a certain antipathy to privately published limited editions, a format I associate with somewhat arch in-jokes such as Lord Berners' parody of English girls-school stories, The Girls of Radcliff Hall, published under the Angela Brazilesque pseudonym of "Adela Quebec". Radclyffe Hall was the gloomy lesbian author of The Well of Loneliness, and Berners' caper featured thinly disguised schoolgirl versions of Cecil Beaton, Oliver Messel and other prominent homosexuals frolicking under the covers after lights out in the dorm. I was very kindly given first one very rare copy and then another by Diana Mosley and Daphne Fielding, and enjoyed it as a private jest. Then Lady Dorothy Lygon got it properly published in 2000, and it suddenly seemed rather ordinary. Coot Lygon, as everyone called her, was the daughter of Lord Beauchamp, former Governor of New South Wales and a man for whom the phrase "notorious homosexual" might have been invented. His wife's brother, the Duke of Westminster, disliked him intensely and referred to him as the "bugger-in-law". The unworldly Lady Beauchamp misread the letter threatening to expose him as a "bugler" and couldn't see what the fuss was about...
What am I going on about? Bugler, bugger, Coot, Cecil, Angela Brazil, Radclyffe Hall... Oh, yeah, limited editions, and my antipathy thereto. Most of the comments re a print version of this yarn have been about e-books, costs, distribution... It's nothing to do with any of that really. If I were to decide to put it into print, we'd have a regular old hardback and a Kindle and a paperback and all the rest. It's just that I wrote it to be listened to, rather than read, and, if I were to stick it on the page, there'd be a little bit of recalibration involved to get it into shape. So it's far more fundamental than which distribution method would suit. But I thank you all for your enthusiasm, and if I get a moment I'll take a crack at it.
See you back here tomorrow for Part Twenty-Five of The Prisoner of Windsor.