Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party for P.G. Wodehouse

Agatha Christie’s novel Hallowe’en Party, the 39th outing for Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, was first published In November 1969. Christie dedicated it: To P. G. Wodehouse — whose books and stories have brightened my life for many years. Also, to show my pleasure in his having been kind enough to tell me he enjoyed my …

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Ukridge a hit with Dad

Somebody met him in New York, just off a cattle-ship. Somebody else saw him in Buenos Ayres. Somebody, again, spoke sadly of having been pounced on by him at Monte Carlo and touched for a fiver. It was not until I settled down in London that he came back into my life. We met in …

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P.G. Wodehouse reading list: the Blandings stories

Lord Emsworth breathed heavily. He had not supposed that in these degenerate days a family like this existed. The sister copped Angus McAllister on the shin with stones, the brother bit Constance in the leg . . . It was like listening to some grand saga of the exploits of heroes and demigods. 'Lord Emsworth …

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A note on the Psmith-Halliday romance by K.V.K. Murthy

This February's Great Wodehouse romances series continues with another guest author, K.V.K. Murthy, known to Facebook friends as James Joyce.  His piece takes us on a walk through romantic literary history with Psmith and Eve Halliday (Leave it to Psmith). A note on the Psmith-Halliday romance by K.V.K. Murthy The question of favourites is mostly subjective, and …

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A Visit to the Wodehouse family archives

On a beautiful autumn day, I left London’s Victoria Station for the glorious Sussex countryside to visit the home of Sir Edward Cazalet, P.G. Wodehouse’s step-grandson. I had met Edward and his wife Camilla, Lady Cazalet, in London during the summer, and they generously invited me to visit their home to view the family's archive …

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Great Wodehouse Romances: When Plum created Eve

Rupert (or Ronald) Psmith was one of Wodehouse's earliest heroes. He made his memorable first appearance in 1908 in a school story serialised in The Captain as 'The Lost Lambs', better known to many readers under the 1953 title Mike and Psmith. Alongside his bosom school chum Mike Jackson, Psmith (the P is silent as in pshrimp) …

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Ridiculous Beginnings

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Albert Camus The world of literature is blessed with many brilliantly conceived and well-remembered beginnings, celebrated in fitting tributes across the blogoshpere. Inspired by Albert Camus's appreciation of the ridiculous, I have been contemplating great beginnings in humorous fiction. Terry Pratchett, the modern master …

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Wodehouse on women: Bachelors Anonymous

Last week, I began a series exploring 'Wodehouse on Women' in response to criticism of Indian Summer of an Uncle by Janet Cameron. In Part 1, I opened the case for the defence by demonstrating that Wodehouse did not specifically exclude women as complex characters in his work. One Wodehouse expert has added further evidence, …

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The four seasons of Wodehouse

It is commonly understood that, far from representing a bygone age, P.G. Wodehouse created an  idealised England that never really existed. Yet I remain determined to find fragments of Wodehouse's world in real life, and last October I immigrated to England in search of Plumtopia. I arrived in time for a glorious Autumn -  my …

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The desert island pickings of a quadragenarian

Henry glanced hastily at the mirror. Yes, he did look rather old. He must have overdone some of the lines on his forehead. He looked something between a youngish centenarian and a nonagenarian who had seen a good deal of trouble. The Man with Two Left Feet (1917) I feel much like Henry did, as …

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