P.G. Wodehouse – the Man and his Work

Great War Fiction

The P.G. Wodehouse exhibition at the British Library that I mentioned a few weeks ago is now happily in place, and Marion and I visited while in London earlier this week.

It is a fairly small affair, in the Sir John Ritblat Treasures of the British Libraryroom. The last exhibit I saw in that space was devoted to Karl Marx. The Wodehouse one is cheerier. It is a sample of the manuscripts and other items recently sent to the Library by the Cazalet family (on permanent loan, I think).

View original post 326 more words

Advertisements

Wodehouse adaptations

My recent post on the Centenary of the P.G. Wodehouse novel Piccadilly Jim, prompted some discussion about Wodehouse adaptations. Some people think it impossible and ought not be attempted. I disagree. What the world needs is more and better Wodehouse adaptations. While it's true that some of the linguistic joys of Wodehouse's prose cannot be …

Continue reading Wodehouse adaptations

Three Unconventional Roads To Wodehouse

18041The Blog ‘Classically Educated’, which offers itself as ‘A Place for Global Citizens and Polymaths’, recently recommended ‘Three Unconventional Roads to Wodehouse’ – a welcome addition to this subject.

One of my great regrets in life is not having put in the necessary mental spadework to develop my potential as a polymath. My mental faculties are sound – perhaps not genius material, but my mother (like Bertie Wooster’s) thought me bright. And I’m genuinely interested in knowing, well… everything! It’s not a question of prestige, or being good at quiz nights — I just hate to be ignorant.

But life is stern and life is earnest. The necessary toil which consumes one’s fertile thinking hours, also has a tendency to sap ambition. This, along with the inevitable distractions of everyday life, have kept me from developing the old bean to any laudable extent. At this late stage, the best I can reasonably hope for is to become a unimath (if that’s a word, Jeeves), although my areas of current expertise are deplorably limited.

Even on the subject of P.G. Wodehouse, his life and work, I am an enthusiast rather than an expert. I have read (and re-read) his published works, as well as biographies and other works written about him — well over 100 volumes in total. This puts me in the excellent company of hundreds of genial souls around the globe — I am honoured and delighted to be among them. But the experts in our community take their devotion to another level, dedicating long hours to scholarly research to uncover new information (including undiscovered works) for our benefit. I tip my hat to them!

But for the Polymath – or indeed anyone else — looking to extend their reading into the realm of Wodehouse, I feel sufficiently qualified to offer informed advice without making an ass of myself. Indeed, I have already done so.

It always interests me to read others’ recommendations, and I’ve revised my own ideas on the subject many times. There is no wrong way to read Wodehouse, expect perhaps upside-down.

I’m now following this polymath blog in a last-ditch attempt to attain wisdom. Wish me luck!

Happy reading
HP

Classically Educated

Mention PG Wodehouse in a conversation and most people will immediately think of Jeeves and Wooster.  That’s partly due to the success of the books and stories, but, I suspect, mostly because of the various film and TV adaptations.  Of course, the one with Hugh Laurie as Wooster utterly deserves to have that notoriety.

But there is more to Wodehouse than the butler and his hapless gentleman.  No less a writer (and polymath) than Isaac Asimov said that Wodehouse, on a sentence level, is one of the three greatest writers in the English language (the other two, if memory serves, being Austen and Dickens).

People often scoff at that, of course.  A mere humorist upstaging countless numbers of earnest, serious writers, some of whom are even politically committed?  Blasphemy.  My answer to that is simple: pick up any of Wodehouse’s books, turn to a random page, and read any sentence…

View original post 574 more words

Ionicus and the Art of Wodehouse

Ionicus was the pen name of illustrator Joshua Armitage, whose work featured in Punch, and almost 400 books, in the course of a long career. He is perhaps best known as the illustrator of 58 Penguin paperback editions of P.G. Wodehouse’s work. Although Ionicus and Wodehouse never met, his drawings show a genuine affinity for …

Continue reading Ionicus and the Art of Wodehouse

Do Not Hate In The Plural

An excellent piece from Nourishncherish, who is always sound on Wodehouse.

Enjoy!

HP

Nourish-n-Cherish

I was reading a short story by P.G.Wodehouse on the train. These are the times when I most mistaken for a lunatic. My seat shudders with unconcealed mirth. I giggle, laugh and sometimes wipe away tears of laughter, while the world is going about the stern business of earning a living. He is one of my favorite authors, and after every few books that makes me mope around the world pondering on the wretchedness and seriousness of life, I turn to a P.G.W book to remind myself that tomfoolery is a virtue to be exalted and celebrated. His turn of phrase, his romping joy, is enough to set me straight.

When I read his autobiography ‘Over Seventy’ a few years ago, I could see that the septuagenarian viewed his own life pretty much the same way he came across in his writing: Sunny and delightful. In his own words, he…

View original post 658 more words

Writing under the influence of Wodehouse: A Blindefellows Chronicle by Auriel Roe

P.G. Wodehouse offers us so much as readers, but he's an inspiration for writers too. I asked Auriel Roe, author of A Blindfellows Chronicle, about Wodehouse's influence on her writing. How did you discover Wodehouse? Probably the Richard Briers and Michael Hordern radio version of Jeeves and Wooster. Dickens always intended his work to be read …

Continue reading Writing under the influence of Wodehouse: A Blindefellows Chronicle by Auriel Roe

P.G. Wodehouse: A Broadway Centenary — by Tony Ring

The name Tony Ring is familiar to many P.G. Wodehouse enthusiasts -- it pops up often and in a surprising variety of places: from journal articles and forewords of new editions, to theatre programmes. Tony's books on Wodehouse's life and work line many of our shelves, and his sparkling presence has enlivened Wodehouse society events around the …

Continue reading P.G. Wodehouse: A Broadway Centenary — by Tony Ring

The romances of Bingo Little: Charlotte Corday Rowbotham (by Ken Clevenger)

'Oh, Great Scott!' I said. 'Don't tell me you're in love again.' He seemed aggrieved. 'What do you mean-- again?' 'Well, to my certain knowledge you've been in love with at least half a dozen girls since the spring, and it's only July now. There was that waitress and Honoria Glossop and--' 'Oh, tush! Not …

Continue reading The romances of Bingo Little: Charlotte Corday Rowbotham (by Ken Clevenger)

More Great Wodehouse Romances: Mrs Spottsworth and Captain Biggar (by Ashok Bhatia)

Plumtopia's annual celebration of the romances of P.G. Wodehouse (to mark the anniversary of the author's death on St Valentine's day 1975) would not be complete without a contribution from Mr Ashok Bhatia. One of the things I particularly enjoy about Mr Bhatia's musings on the subject is his choice of 'seasoned' couples, well beyond the first …

Continue reading More Great Wodehouse Romances: Mrs Spottsworth and Captain Biggar (by Ashok Bhatia)

Money in the Bank (review by John Lagrue)

John Lagrue's timely review of P.G. Wodehouse's Money in the Bank (1942) touches on another great Wodehouse romance --that of Anne Benedick and Jeff Miller. John also proposes Anne Benedick as Wodehouse's finest heroine. It's a proposal worth taking seriously from a Wodehouse lover of John's calibre. I certainly recall Anne being a good egg, but I've never …

Continue reading Money in the Bank (review by John Lagrue)