Welcome to the final installment of our Mark Steyn Club second-birthday Tale for Our Time - published in 1896, H G Wells' classic The Island of Dr Moreau. Thank you so much for all your kind comments about this latest radio serialization. Andrew, one of our Albertan Steyn Club members, writes:
It's a treat to hear Mark read The Island of Dr Moreau, a book that I would otherwise never read: presuming it to be too uncomfortably odd and contrived. But I'm enjoying it!
Glad to hear it, Andrew. For our second anniversary we've relaunched our Tales of Our Time home page in a redesigned tile format that makes it easier to pick out all kinds of other books you'd otherwise never read. So far our Timely-Talers seem to like it.
Thank you too for all your very touching second-birthday wishes. Nancy Wenlock, a First Day Founding Member of the Steyn Club, says:
The amount of content you and your team provide is mind-boggling! Your website is my home page and it's actually difficult to keep up with it all at times! The Tales for our Time, your commentary, the audio clips, poetry, musical writings and clips, the interviews you have done, etc etc. I cannot thank you enough You provide a well rounded education far exceeding anything I ever got in school or college.
Keep up the great work! Glasses raised to you on your brilliant Mark Steyn Club!
Cheers to you too, Nancy! We intend to expand and grow this little club in the year ahead.
Meanwhile, on to H G Wells. As the concluding episode of The Island of Dr Moreau begins, Prendick notices that the Beast Folk seem to be de-civilizing:
It was about May when I first distinctly perceived a growing difference in their speech and carriage, a growing coarseness of articulation, a growing disinclination to talk. My Monkey-man's jabber multiplied in volume but grew less and less comprehensible, more and more simian. Some of the others seemed altogether slipping their hold upon speech, though they still understood what I said to them at that time. (Can you imagine language, once clear-cut and exact, softening and guttering, losing shape and import, becoming mere lumps of sound again?) And they walked erect with an increasing difficulty. Though they evidently felt ashamed of themselves, every now and then I would come upon one or another running on toes and finger-tips, and quite unable to recover the vertical attitude. They held things more clumsily; drinking by suction, feeding by gnawing, grew commoner every day. I realised more keenly than ever what Moreau had told me about the "stubborn beast-flesh." They were reverting, and reverting very rapidly.
Some of them—the pioneers in this, I noticed with some surprise, were all females—began to disregard the injunction of decency, deliberately for the most part. Others even attempted public outrages upon the institution of monogamy. The tradition of the Law was clearly losing its force. I cannot pursue this disagreeable subject.
My Dog-man imperceptibly slipped back to the dog again; day by day he became dumb, quadrupedal, hairy. I scarcely noticed the transition from the companion on my right hand to the lurching dog at my side.
From beast to man and back to beast: Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read the conclusion of The Island of Dr Moreau simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
If you enjoyed The Island of Dr Moreau, I hope you'll join me next weekend for a couple of Tales for Our Time birthday bonuses - and thereafter a brand new and much requested adventure.
I thank all those among our First Week Founding Members from May of 2017 who've decided to re-up for Year Three. It means an awful lot to me. Meanwhile, if you've yet to hear any of our Tales, you can enjoy the first two years' worth of audio adventures - by Conan Doyle, Kafka, Conrad, Gogol, Dickens, Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson and more - by joining The Mark Steyn Club. For details on membership, see here - and, if you're seeking the perfect present for a fellow fan of classic fiction, don't forget our Steyn Club Gift Membership. Alternatively, if you'd like a book in old-fashioned book form, over at the SteynOnline bookstore there are bargains galore among our Steynamite Special offers.