Programming note: On Monday I'll be back on UK telly for the first time in decades to join Colin Brazier on the new GB News, live at 8pm British Summer Time - that's 3pm North American Eastern. You can watch from anywhere on the planet on the GB News livestream, which can be found right here.
For those who prefer me in non-visual formats, welcome to Episode Twenty of Northanger Abbey, the latest entry to our series Tales for Our Time. Patricia's recent recommendation of a free Hillsdale College online course on Jane Austen and her first novel has gone down well with other listeners. Fran Lavery, a New Mexico member of The Mark Steyn Club, says:
This was a brilliant suggestion for pointing us to Hillsdale College for their free Jane Austen video series. I alway learned so much from their professors but drifted away to other more current event news sites lately. This will help make the remainder of the Northanger Abbey tale much more meaningful. Thank you!
We hope others will check it out, Fran. Hillsdale College is one of the few institutions in America that on principle refuses federal monies. Yet, unlike all those others on the US taxpayer's teat, it makes much of its wisdom available to Americans across the nation for free.
In tonight's episode of Northanger Abbey, General Tilney takes Catherine on a tour of the abbey. She is on the alert for secret chambers:
Large as was the building, she had already visited the greatest part; though, on being told that, with the addition of the kitchen, the six or seven rooms she had now seen surrounded three sides of the court, she could scarcely believe it, or overcome the suspicion of there being many chambers secreted. It was some relief, however, that they were to return to the rooms in common use, by passing through a few of less importance, looking into the court, which, with occasional passages, not wholly unintricate, connected the different sides; and she was further soothed in her progress by being told that she was treading what had once been a cloister, having traces of cells pointed out, and observing several doors that were neither opened nor explained to her—by finding herself successively in a billiard-room, and in the general's private apartment, without comprehending their connection, or being able to turn aright when she left them; and lastly, by passing through a dark little room, owning Henry's authority, and strewed with his litter of books, guns, and greatcoats...
But what darker secrets do these rooms conceal? If you're a member of The Mark Steyn Club you can hear Part Twenty of our serialization of Northanger Abbey simply by clicking here and logging-in. All previous episodes can be found here.
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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 four dozen Tales for Our Time, including my serializations of Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Time Machine and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. And please join me tomorrow evening for Part Twenty-One of Northanger Abbey - along with all our weekend features, including a special music edition of Tales for Our Time.