Welcome to Episode Thirty of our nightly audio adventure, The Prisoner of Windsor. For fans of my serialization of The Prisoner of Zenda, this is a sequel and a contemporary inversion - that's to say, this time round the Ruritanian has to sub for the Englishman - which isn't so easy in a fantastical kingdom prone to strange, superstitious fears. In tonight's episode, for example, the country faces a new threat:
The chief executive of Public Health England and vice-president of NASTI – the National Association for Sexually Transmitted Infections – had a transmission model showing that a hyper-resistant post-Brexit strain of Covid-related climate-change-accelerated mega-gonorrhea could bring the UK to its knees within seventy-two hours...
'Have you all gone daft?' I interjected. 'Is there one verified case of this mega-gonorrhea?'
'Well, actually,' said His Majesty, 'I don't wish to be indiscreet, but we rather think you've got a bad dose.'
All that plus some not so de-radicalized Mohammeds and a touchy rocker. If you're a member of The Mark Steyn Club you can hear Part Thirty of our serialization of The Prisoner of Windsor simply by clicking here and logging-in. All previous episodes can be found here.
Peter, a First Week Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from a town that lends its name to one of this tale's royal duchesses, writes:
Still loving this, many thanks. Some of the episodes remind me of The Man Who Was Thursday - a semi-nightmare phantasmagoria - but all too real of course.
Alas, yes. A few episodes back, after Rudy Elphberg gives a pro-imperialism speech to a teachers' conference, I mentioned en passant:
As you undoubtedly know, the great speech-disaster scene in English literature is Gussie Fink-Nottle's address to the Market Snodsbury Grammar School, which is a work of genius by P G Wodehouse.
Indeed. But a shout-out here to Jim Dixon's drunken lecture from Kingsley Amis' Lucky Jim...
No arguments there: one of the great set-pieces of the post-war English novel.
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To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and don't forget our special Gift Membership.The minute you sign up you'll have access to over three-dozen Tales for Our Time, including my serializations of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Time Machine and The Thirty-Nine Steps. And please join me tomorrow for Part Thirty-One of The Prisoner of Windsor.