As we head into the Father's Day weekend, welcome to Part Eight of our audio adventure in an unmanned world - The Time Machine by H G Wells. One consequence of losing the future is that you lose your past, too. The Eloi have no idea of what their civilization once was, because they have lost both the habit and capacity to preserve it:
I went out of that gallery and into another and still larger one, which at the first glance reminded me of a military chapel hung with tattered flags. The brown and charred rags that hung from the sides of it, I presently recognized as the decaying vestiges of books. They had long since dropped to pieces, and every semblance of print had left them. But here and there were warped boards and cracked metallic clasps that told the tale well enough. Had I been a literary man I might, perhaps, have moralized upon the futility of all ambition. But as it was, the thing that struck me with keenest force was the enormous waste of labour to which this sombre wilderness of rotting paper testified.
And so it will go with the British Museum and the Louvre and all the rest...
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Eight of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here, down the page and in reverse order. Thank you for all those who signed up as Founding Members of our new club. Founder Membership is now closed, but we do have Premium Membership - and don't forget to join us tomorrow for Part Nine of The Time Machine.