Happy Easter Monday to our readers, listeners and viewers across the Commonwealth and Europe. Happy Monday, if you chance to be in America, where it's just another working day - as indeed it is for me, with respect to tonight's Mark Steyn Show.
In just over a week's time, my brand new book, The Prisoner of Windsor, will be published, set in a strange land that may nonetheless seem oddly familiar...
A remote fantastical kingdom far from Europe's chancelleries of power...
An unpopular monarch on the eve of his coronation...
A ruling class of plotters and would-be usurpers...
...and a gentleman adventurer on holiday.
No, not Ruritania in the nineteenth century, but the United Kingdom in the twenty-first. My new book is both a sequel to and a contemporary inversion of Anthony Hope's classic of 1894, The Prisoner of Zenda. In the original, an English gentleman on vacation is called upon to stand in for his lookalike, the King of Ruritania, at his coronation. Over a century later, a Ruritanian on vacation in London is called upon to return the favour and stand in for an Englishman in an absurd fantastical kingdom where Brexit never quite happened...
As Jerry Stratton says of the audio version over at Good Reads, The Prisoner of Windsor is "extraordinarily funny, on an incredibly layered level". Sal Tessio, a New Jersey member of The Mark Steyn Club, has also been checking out our original audio adventure:
A positive word for The Prisoner of Windsor. I'm about half way through the audio version and in each episode there've been a few nice laughs. Satirical tour de force indeed!
It's not just a laugh-and-a-half, I hope: it also has its tragic side. Nancy Hawkes from Virginia:
I don't know which I liked better - the rollicking, funny, sad, sobering story, or the comical, serious, heart-warming, heart-rending reading of it.
There were parts that had me crying with laughter (Rudy at the gay pride parade - good thing I wasn't going 70+mph at that point!) and tearing up with sadness over the loss of love of country (Rudy trying to instill some backbone in the King).
If my version of the Coronation is tragicomic, the real one is shaping up as merely pitiful. When I first conjured up the idea of the King wanting to have the Grand Mufti participate in the ceremony, it was a jest, satirical fancy. I now discover that Buckingham Palace has been unable to publish the Order of Service for the Coronation because His Majesty and the Church of England are in a big showdown over all the imams the new King wants taking part. (If you want the real underlying reasons for the bishops' objections, well, that's in my book, too.)
The pre-orders have been so strong that Amazon is already applying the bestseller discounts. So, if you find the list price of $31.95 a bit steep, well, you can now pick it up at Amazon for $25.83 - and the shipping will be rather less, too.
On the other hand, if you absolutely can't live without your full-price hardback being personally inscribed by yours truly, that we can do.
(For digital versions of the book, please scroll down the page.)
~We have plenty coming your way on a brand new week of The Mark Steyn Show. The action starts at 8pm British Summer Time/3pm North American Eastern.
If you missed any of last week's editions, you can find them all here:
Conrad Black on US justice, plus Claire Hibbs, Stephen Morrell and Jamie Jenkins
on the shifting narrative and the ongoing betrayal
Michele Bachmann on the Trump arrest, and Kate Hoey on Brexit and Ireland
plus Randy Bachman with a song for our times
Leilani Dowding, Alexandra Marshall and Samantha Smith
take the pulse of the planet - plus an award from YouTube!
A Steyn Show special: survivors, politicians and campaigners on
the industrial-scale child gang-rape of English working-class girls - and the cover-up
If you enjoy The Mark Steyn Show on your Smart TV or not so smart desktop, we'll also be doing it live at sea during the 2023 Mark Steyn Cruise - and with all of your favourite guests, including the above-mentioned Leilani, Alexandra, and Michele. More details here.
If you've failed to catch a Steyn Show over the years, you can find not only our latest edition but over 250 from the archives, all in reverse chronological order, listed here.
~GB News's strategy of cosying up to the UK state censor Ofcom is going about as well as you might expect. On Good Friday their primetime line-up (that's 7-11pm) could command just 13,900 viewers across the UK, cratering on Saturday to a mere 9,700. I'm sure Angelos Floppadopoulos is telling his remaining advertisers that's just because it was Easter. Yet Sky and the Beeb's numbers held up, as did Rupert Murdoch's TalkTV, which managed (even on Piers's night off) to beat GBN.
Because GB News has chosen to kowtow to Ofcom, my court battle against them will be pursued alone. Aside from pre-ordering the above-mentioned Prisoner of Windsor. there are multiple ways of supporting this important lawsuit in the King's Bench Division of the English High Court, including:
a) signing up a friend for a Steyn Club Gift Membership;
b) buying a chum a SteynOnline gift certificate; or even
c) treating your nearest and dearest to that Mark Steyn Cruise.
~Notwithstanding my one-step-forward-two-steps-back health, we had a very busy Easter weekend at SteynOnline, starting with a Good Friday edition of our Clubland Q&A and Mel Gibson's take on The Passion of the Christ. For his Saturday movie date Rick McGinnis plumped for an Easter wabbit, while I joined Victor Hugo at Notre Dame for the bells of Easter morn. On the day itself, Tal Bachman shared some thoughts, while I read an Easter poem, and our Song of the Week celebrated the only Easter standard in the American Songbook.
If you were too busy spending the weekend trying to get your local mullah a spot in the Coronation service, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
~And finally, if you are way beyond print copies of books, The Prisoner of Windsor is also available for digital pre-order. For the Kindle edition around the world, please click below: