Your favourite Wodehouse romance

wodehouse romances

Each February, Plumtopia celebrates great romances from the world of P.G. Wodehouse to commemorate to anniversary of his death on St Valentine’s Day 1975.

Who are your favourites?

This year, I’d love to know who your favourite couples are from the world of Wodehouse romance — and what you love about them.

Please share your favourite Wodehouse romances by commenting on this post, via Twitter @honoriaplum, or in the Fans of PG Wodehouse Facebook group. If you’d like to write more on the subject, I would be proud to feature, reblog or link to your piece.

I’ll collate, analyse and ponder upon the responses this Valentine’s day (frankly, I shall have nothing better to do) and share some of my own favourites.

Happy flitting and sipping!



36 thoughts on “Your favourite Wodehouse romance

  1. This presents a huge field but my all-time favourite couple just has to be Archibald Mulliner and Aurelia Cammarleigh, although Tipton Plimsoll-Victoria Wedge and Sidney McMurdo-Agnes Flack are strong contenders, just for their sheer daftness. Some lovers do it to music, others do it to choreography but only two do it to the triumphant cackle of a chook laying an egg. Oh, and welcome back Honoria. Re one of our previous conversations, I believe the perfect film/TV Jeeves would have been Nigel Hawthorne. I’ve just been re-watching him on Yes Minister/Prime Minister and the subtlety of his facial expressions convinced me. Pity he’s no longer with us. Pip, pip.

      1. This is my daughter’s favourite Wodehouse story so we’ve re-read it and listened to the audiobook recording by Jonathan Cecil many times. It never fails to bring joy, which I think is the mark of a great story — great writing, great comedy.
        Archibald Mulliner and Aurelia Cammarleigh are the bees roller-skates!

    1. What Ho, Noel. Outstanding suggestions as ever. As I said to another visitor, Archibald Mulliner and Aurelia Cammarleigh are the bees roller-skates!
      And yes to Nigel Hawthorne as Jeeves. An excellent suggestion. I believe one of the Yes Minister creators, Jonathan Lynn, is a Wodehouse fan so perhaps there was some Jeevesian inspiration in the character?

  2. Gaaa. Logorrhea warning ahead.

    I’ve always had a fondness for Sam the Sudden – and in a weird closing the bracket way, Ice in the Bedroom. Hash Todhunter’s romance with Claire Lippett makes me chuckle, and Sam and Kay are sweet, and its nice that Freddie Widgeon gets closure in the end.
    The Rodney Spelvin series from the Golf Stories. William Bates (I will call him lymphatic) and Jane Packard (who had a forearm like a village blacksmith), and the latter’s horror at how she has neglected their child WHO WAS HOLDING THE MASHIE ALL WRONG. Plus of course, there’s the absolute genius of Rodney has a Relapse (though that would fall under another category).
    Others I like: A Damsel in Distress. Spring Fever. Money in the Bank. (Purely coincidental that they feature Lords who get mistaken for members of the household staff).
    From the series books, Leave it to Psmith, naturally. From comrade Walderwick’s umbrella donation to Psmith’s final non-proposal – but you know what I mean.
    There’s also Esmond and Corky in The Mating Season
    And finally, Pigs Have Wings.
    The ending – Jerry and Penny united, as are Orlo Vosper and Gloria Salt and Maudie Stubbs with Gregory Parsloe Parsloe. Connie is in bed with a cold, delighted by the fact that’s she’s been complimented by Gally for her decisiveness – and she has enough cold remedies to make a hypochondriac happy. And then there’s Beach
    “From time to time he sipped port, from time to time raised his eyes thankfully heaven- wards. He, too, was thinking kindly of Gally. Mr Galahad might ask a man to steal rather more pigs than was agreeable, but in the larger affairs of life, such as making cheques for five hundred pounds grow where none had been before, he was a rock to lean on”
    And then, the Empress’ win is celebrated in verse!

    1. Really terrific suggestions. I can’t blame you for listing them all. I especially liked your inclusion on Maudie and Tubby. I love it when Wodehouse reunites old lovers past their prime. Esmond and Corky are one of the standout couples from the Jeeves stories I think, and it really is impossible not to love Psmith and Eve Halliday.
      And so many other great romances….
      Thank you!

  3. Undine

    Definitely Psmith and Eve in “Leave It to Psmith.” Along with the usual Wodehouse humor and charm, there was a genuine romantic feel to their story that is rather unusual for his books, and Eve is my favorite Wodehouse heroine. It’s a pity no one has thought to film this novel–done right, it would make a classic rom-com.

    1. I agree, Undine. They are my favourite couple too and a film or television adaptation would be terrific. Let’s just hope there are sensible people involved, who are sound on Wodehouse, when it happens.

      1. I confess. I’m stymied. I do not understand this widespread fascination with Psmith — an interesting but immature character whom PGW was right to retire — and Eve –one of PGW’s early non-comic women who are bizarre combinations of ideal girls and those who live on their wits (like many PGW would have met on Broadway — did anyone say Ethel?). Plum’s attempts at serious romance are soppy.I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.

      2. I can’t put it down to one thing, but Psmith shares with Uncle Fred that quality of keeping his companions in a constant fizz. You never know what he’ll do next, or what the consequences may be.

        And he has some superb lines.

      3. Derryl Fontenot

        Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe and Maudie Montrose getting together was, considering Sir Gregory is a lighter version of the Duke of Dunstable (who would never have a romance without money being involved) touching and believable yet humorous.

      4. The fact that an excellent woman like Maudie once loved and still loves him is some endorsement — we must hope that under her influence, Sir Gregory reforms into a new and better Parsloe.

        It’s difficult to imagine anyone having a softening influence on Dunstable though. He is surely beyond redemption.

  4. Derryl Fontenot

    My favorite of Wodehouse’s non-farce genteel romances of his early period is Jill the Reckless. With Uneasy Money and Piccadilly Jim being close runner-ups.

    Jill is about a young woman who is jilted by her fiance because she is too forward and he is a stuffy politician on the make. Then she loses all her money. Bearing no grudge against anyone, but devastated by her betroths dumping her, she sets out to make it on her independent own.

    You get a real sense of a real person with Jill. She’s thoroughly admirable–tough, resilient, yet although she’s not perfect, she’s never cynical. It’s all very believable. Wodehouse in Jill and other novels is a crypto-feminist. Actually, that demeans his portrayal. Jill wouldn’t have wanted or need to be handicapped by special pleading.

    It’s not too much to say that I fell in love with Jill.

    1. Thanks Derryl,
      I am so glad you mentioned Jill — she’s a terrific heroine and a wonderful character. She deserves much better than Derek (if they had married she would have been Jill Underhill) and Wodehouse doesn’t let her down.
      I must reread this book again soon.

  5. George P. Smith

    Tipton Plimsoll and Victoria Wedge for ever! Full Moon is one of my all-time favorite and the scene in which Tipton is making a list of the inhabitants of Blandings Castle (leaving Victoria as last and without a proper epihtet) never fails to make me laugh loud.

  6. Michelle

    For me, it has to be George Bevan and Lady Maud Marshmoreton in ‘A Damsel in Distress’. Their romance is both funny and touching (as is the book itself). I particularly enjoy the audio version of this, read by Jonathan Cecil.

    1. Hi Michelle.
      That is an interesting suggestion, and one that makes me want to read ‘A Damsel in Distress’ again, because I have to confess I didn’t much care for Lady Maud when I read it last.

      I did love Billie Dore though, the American chorus girl. She’s a terrific character.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I must read this book again with fresh eyes.

  7. Undine hits the spot – the Psmith/Eve romance is far and away the best, not least because it is unusually realistic, and not played out for laughs. Psmith, very much a chap not interested in the fair sex as far as we can tell, is bowled over by Eve while she, liking him, is saddened to learn that he is apart from his wife, her best friend. Then all is made clear, and after further misunderstandings (as required for the plot), she realises that he is sincere – and the most stimulating man she has ever met. PGW has been said to be somewhat uncertain when drawing female characters, but in Eve Halliday he presents a lively, imaginative, resourceful young lady anyone could admire, and fall for. Good guy Psmith well deserves her – and she him.

    1. I agree, Murray. The Psmith and Eve romance has always been my favourite. Wodehouse really does an excellent job with this pairing, because Psmith is such a big character, and one who is much loved by readers.

      In the Mike and Psmith books, Mike (and every other character) is completely overshadowed by Psmith’s brilliance. Introducing a suitable love interest for Psmith would have been a tricky business. Wodehouse not only manages it, he creates a heroine in Eve Halliday who demands our admiration and attention in her own right — never in Psmith’s shadow.

  8. Fretfulporpentine

    Bobbie Wickhham and Kipper Herring. After playing the field she finally found a man who could cope with and handle her, more or less.

      1. Undine

        Rather like in the soap operas, Wodehouse’s characters tend to disappear once they wed. The only exception I can think of offhand is Bingo Little. A pity. We “lost” so many great characters (particularly Psmith) that way.

  9. Derryl Fontenot

    I like Joe Vanringhan and arduous courting of Jane Abbott in Summer Moonshine, one of my favorite standalones. He has to work to get her. And Wodehouse clearly makes the reader see that Princess von und zu Dwornitzchek is the opposite of a Wodehouse romantic heroine. Adrian Peake’s misery under her heel will be unending.

  10. Bertie Woostersauce

    Aside from the obvious shenanigans of Bertie trying to extricate himself after second or third thoughts and Bingo’s trials, it has occurred to me that it would have been a riot to get a younger Uncle Fred or Galahad Threepwood in a story that dealt directly with a romance. Does such a story exist or did PGW ever contemplate such a thing?

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  13. Plum admirer from india

    Do you have a complete list of nominations? I couldn’t find it.
    But I rather suspect J Hamilton Beamish and Madame Eulalie nee May Stubbs of Small Bachelor is not nominated. So that’s my nomination

    1. I have been compiling a list of nominated couples from Facebook, Twitter, this blog and elsewhere, and I can confirm your suspicions — Beamish and Stubbs are were not on it. They are now. A fine addition, too. I’ll definitely share a long list towards the end of the month.

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