Welcome to the final episode of our current Tale for Our Time - written by Charles Dickens a few weeks before Christmas 1843. As the concluding episode of A Christmas Carol begins, Ebenezer Scrooge finds himself returned from the custody of the Spirits:
"What's to-day!" cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.
"Eh?" returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.
"What's to-day, my fine fellow?" said Scrooge.
"To-day!" replied the boy. "Why, Christmas Day."
"It's Christmas Day!" said Scrooge to himself. "I haven't missed it... Do you know whether they've sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there?â€”Not the little prize Turkey: the big one?"
"What, the one as big as me?" returned the boy.
Why, yes! For Scrooge is a changed man, with big plans. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read the conclusion of A Christmas Carol simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
Thank you for your kind words about this latest audio serialization. To be honest, I wasn't sure about our Dickensian foray, and worried that it might be too well known. But it's proved one of our more popular tales, and I'm grateful for your pertinent observations. Founding Member Elizabeth Bakoss writes:
As you suggested in your intro, the Christian message underlies and permeates the entire story one way or another, even if somewhat indirectly. And the depth of insight is interesting, and I'm afraid absent in our current empty culture.
Indeed. Tomorrow evening, Sunday, I'll be back with an idiosyncratic postscript to our Dickensian entertainment. Hope you'll join me for that. For those who hanker for me on camera (a small but brave band), I'll also be here on Sunday to introduce a live-performance edition of our Song of the Week.
It's the Christmas season at SteynOnline, which means this coming week we'll have another seasonal tale that I think you'll enjoy very much. Meanwhile, if you've yet to hear any of our Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. For details on membership, see here - and, if you're seeking something for a fellow fan of classic fiction this holiday season, don't forget our limited-time-only Christmas Gift Membership, which includes a personally autographed book or CD set from yours truly.