How to pronounce Wodehouse

A kindly soul once corrected my pronunciation of P.G. Wodehouse, and I’m profoundly grateful to him for saving me from making a complete ass of myself when I began mixing in Wodehouse Society circles (if only he'd taught me how to use cutlery as well). I had been pronouncing Wodehouse as if it rhymed with …

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Wodehouse Pick-Me-Ups – which stories would be in your collection?

The P G Wodehouse Society (UK) wants to know which three short stories you would include in a Wodehouse Pick-Me-Up edition.  In the latest edition of Wooster Sauce, Quarterly Journal of The P G Wodehouse Society (UK), the Society is offering members who answer this question the chance to win copies of Random House’s new …

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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…

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5 books by P.G. Wodehouse for Father’s Day

Unlike the male codfish which, suddenly finding itself the parent of three million five hundred thousand little codfish, cheerfully resolves to love them all, the British aristocracy is apt to look with a somewhat jaundiced eye on its younger sons. from: Blandings Castle and Elsewhere (1935) So too, my own father has looked with a …

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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 …

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Mostly Sally (The Adventures of Sally)

Sally stopped and drew a deep breath. Ginger Kemp did not reply for a moment. He seemed greatly impressed. “When you talk quick,” he said at length, in a serious meditative voice, “your nose sort of goes all squiggly. Ripping, it looks!” Sally uttered an indignant cry. “Do you mean to say you haven’t been …

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When Ginger met Sally

Today’s post continues the Great Wodehouse Romances series, exploring The Adventures of Sally , courtesy of guest author Jon Brierley. If you missed the first instalment, you can catch up here. The Adventures of Sally A Romance (continued...) All caught up? Spiffing. Let us consider our principals. Here comes Sally now – if we take up an …

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The Great Wodehouse Romances: The Adventures of Sally (by Jon Brierley)

Every February Plumtopia celebrates the romances, great and small, in the work of P.G. Wodehouse, to mark the anniversary of his death on St Valentine’s Day, 1975. Guest contributions are warmly welcomed, and this year I’m thrilled to share a series by guest author Jon Brierley on the 1921 Wodehouse novel, The Adventures of Sally. …

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P.G. Wodehouse reading guide: from Jeeves and Blandings to the Hidden Gems

People often come to Plumtopia looking for advice on how to get started reading P.G. Wodehouse, the Jeeves and Wooster series in particular. It’s a good question. The short answer, is that there is no single correct approach to reading Wodehouse –and if you ask the question in one of the many online Wodehouse forums, …

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The glamour of incivility

Mrs Pett, like most other people, subconsciously held the view that the ruder a person is the more efficient he must be. It is but rarely that anyone is found who is not dazzled by the glamour of incivility. from Piccadilly Jim I'm bitterly well-acquainted with the 'glamour of incivility'. Shop assistants and waiters seem …

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