The Adventures of Honoria Plum

He was sorry, he wrote, that he would be unable to see Miss Petherick-Soames on the morrow, as they had planned, owing to his unfortunately being called away to Australia. He added that he was pleased to have made her acquaintance and that if, as seemed probable, they never saw each other again, he would …

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

People often come to Plumtopia for advice on how to get started reading P.G. Wodehouse, the Jeeves and Wooster series in particular. There's is no single correct approach to reading Wodehouse -- if you ask a dozen Wodehouse fans, you’ll get at least a dozen different answers. Picking up the first book you come across …

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Highballs for breakfast, lunch and dinner: the prizegiving

This is one prize giving ceremony that cannot be undertaken on orange juice alone. The Cheapest White on the List sat alone at a corner table, solemnly pawing an Anglers’ Rest bar menu. 'What's the matter with him? asked The Dubonnet Queen of Ealing Common. 'The price of Pinot Grigio has gone up' said a …

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Highballs for breakfast: The very best of P.G. Wodehouse on the joys of a good stiff drink

Highballs for Breakfast is a new compilation of P.G. Wodehouse’s writing on the subject of liquor, drinking, Dutch Courage and mornings after, compiled and edited by Richard T. Kelly. It’s a well-researched collection that delves widely into the Wodehouse canon, unearthing plenty of treasures on the subject. ‘…Have you ever tasted a mint-julep, Beach?’ ‘Not …

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Win a copy of new Wodehouse release, ‘Highballs for Breakfast’

There are moments when one needs a drink. Are there moments, indeed, when one doesn’t?’ Barmy in Wonderland (1952) I’m excited to offer Plumtopia readers the chance to win a copy of the new PG Wodehouse release, Highballs for Breakfast, courtesy of Penguin Random House. To enter, simply reply by comment to this post telling …

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The birth of P.G. Wodehouse and Sherlock Holmes

PGW quoted this famous character from his third book up to his ninety-third and had a tremendous admiration for Arthur Conan Doyle. N.T.P. Murphy, A Wodehouse Handbook On the 15th of October, 1881, P.G. Wodehouse was born in Guildford , England. Coincidentally, 1881 was also the year in which Dr. John Watson first met Sherlock …

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I have dyspepsia!

Yesterday I received the Doctor's diagnosis of an ailment that has been troubling me for some time. I have dyspepsia! I don't suppose a doctor ever received such a joyous response to this news as mine did. I practically whooped around the surgery. For now, I can read my favourite poem, by Lancelot Mulliner in …

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P.G. Wodehouse in Bath: The Loafing Years

It is not unreasonable to assume that when the assorted dignitaries of Bath bunged off their application for UNESCO World Heritage listing, the fact that P.G. Wodehouse lived here as a boy was pretty high up on their list of reasons. No doubt it weighed heavily with the judges. And yet, in all the historical …

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