Just ahead of Episode Eight of our current Tale for Our Time, a word from your host:
As I predicted just ahead of last year's US election, things are getting real bad real fast on the free-speech front - in America, Britain, Canada, Europe, and the rest of the west. The sudden celebrity of last week's Facebook "whistleblower", whose only problem with Zuckerberg is that he doesn't censor enough, marked a new level of funhouse-mirror distortion. Our Australian Steyn Clubber Kate Smyth responded to a fellow commenter thus:
'I fear that even web-sites like this one will be eventually shut down.'
Not paranoid at all, Roy. Mark should add this to the list of predictions in addition to Taiwan and the USD...
In February I would've said 2025 for SteynOnline, but - in view of recent measures to 'keep the community safe' - I've revised that, and brought it forward at least a year or two.
Looking at the ever swelling ranks of the disappeared, who can say? In such circumstances, I thank all of you who keep this l'il ol' website and its various activities part of your daily rounds. I so miss the Internet of yore - before the woketalitarians imposed one-size-fits-all "social media" on the planet and buggered the thing irredeemably. We stagger on nevertheless.
Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey is a world of more conventional terrors than being canceled by woke billionaires. In today's episode Catherine's Gothic imagination is excited by the prospect of a castle:
"Blaize Castle!" cried Catherine. "What is that?"
"The finest place in England—worth going fifty miles at any time to see."
"What, is it really a castle, an old castle?"
"The oldest in the kingdom."
"But is it like what one reads of?"
"Exactly—the very same."
"But now really—are there towers and long galleries?"
In fact, Blaise Castle is a mere folly, so no long galleries (see above right). It was built by Robert Mylne, designer of Blackfriars Bridge in London, and in Catherine's time was a mere thirty-five years old - or, to our generation, about the age of a late-1980s suburban sub-division.
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read Episode Eight by clicking here and logging-in.
Earlier instalments of Northanger Abbey can be found here - and, if your tastes incline to the more obviously timely, my serialization of Nineteen Eighty-Four starts here.
Thank you again for all your comments, thumbs up or down, on this latest tale. Very much appreciated. If you'd like to know more about The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and don't forget, for fellow fans of classic fiction and/or poetry, our Steyn Club Gift Membership.
I'll see you back here tomorrow for Part Nine of Northanger Abbey - and before that for the Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving episode of The Mark Steyn Show.
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