Programming note: If you didn't catch last weekend's audio episode of Steyn's Song of the Week on Serenade Radio, you missed a treat: I told the story of "Strangers in the Night", which is quite a tale all by itself. Our next Song of the Week airs Sunday on Serenade at 5.30pm UK time, right after Sing Something Simple. 5.30pm BST is 12.30pm Eastern/9.30am Pacific, which makes it a Sunday brunchy kind of show in the Americas. But, wherever you are in this turbulent world, you can listen to it by clicking on the button in the top right-hand corner here.
While you're counting the hours till that extravaganza, welcome to Part Six of our latest nightly audio entertainment - a classic by Jane Austen satirizing Gothic novels and their impact on impressionable young ladies, and far outlasting the appeal of any of those original Gothic bestsellers from two-and-a-quarter centuries ago.
On our Clubland Q&A the other day there was the usual talk about how the entire western world is about to go over the cliff. To which Maggie, a Mark Steyn Club member from Pennsylvania, responded that we'd already gone over and were headed for the rocks, but added hopefully:
I just hope we get to finish Northanger Abbey.
To which Sam Williamson, a First Weekend Founding Member from Ontario, responded:
Mark will be arrested before Catherine gets to the Abbey.
Oh, dear. I'll try and read faster. In tonight's episode Miss Morland finds herself inveigled into a ride in the country with Mr Thorpe. His conversational manner involves a lot of "You women" generalizations:
"Lord help you! You women are always thinking of men's being in liquor. Why, you do not suppose a man is overset by a bottle? I am sure of this—that if everybody was to drink their bottle a day, there would not be half the disorders in the world there are now. It would be a famous good thing for us all."
"I cannot believe it."
"Oh! Lord, it would be the saving of thousands. There is not the hundredth part of the wine consumed in this kingdom that there ought to be. Our foggy climate wants help."
"And yet I have heard that there is a great deal of wine drunk in Oxford."
"Oxford! There is no drinking at Oxford now, I assure you. Nobody drinks there. You would hardly meet with a man who goes beyond his four pints at the utmost. Now, for instance, it was reckoned a remarkable thing, at the last party in my rooms, that upon an average we cleared about five pints a head. It was looked upon as something out of the common way. Mine is famous good stuff, to be sure. You would not often meet with anything like it in Oxford—and that may account for it. But this will just give you a notion of the general rate of drinking there."
"You women" can always learn a thing or two from a fellow like Mr Thorpe. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Six of our tale simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
If you're in the mood for something more dystopian of an evening, my serialization of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four can be heard here.
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, Baroness Orczy, Dickens, Forster, Conrad, Kipling, Kafka, Gogol, P G Wodehouse, L M Montgomery, Robert Louis Stevenson and more), we've introduced a special Gift Membership that lets you sign up a pal for the Steyn Club. You'll find more details here. Oh, and don't forget, over at the Steyn store, our Steynamite Special Offers on books, CDs, and much more.