Society Spice: Wodehouse fans gather in London, Washington and Amsterdam

Wodehouse lovers in three countries, and travellers from further afield, have much to look forward to over the coming weeks -- with three exciting events scheduled: September 25 -- The P G Wodehouse Society (UK) Society Evening in London October 7 -- Dutch P.G. Wodehouse Society meeting and book launch in Amsterdam October 19-22 -- …

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P.G. Wodehouse reading list: the Jeeves and Wooster stories

This piece is the second in a series of guides for readers wanting to discover the joys of Jeeves and Wooster, Blandings, and the wider world of Wodehouse ‘hidden gems’. The previous post provided reading suggestions for new Wodehouse readers. Today's piece offers a suggested reading order for the Jeeves and Wooster stories, followed by some …

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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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A day out with the Wiltshire Gudgeons

Last weekend I visited the charming Wiltshire town of Bradford on Avon for a bit of browsing and sluicing with fellow members of the PG Wodehouse Society -- the first, we hope, of many gatherings in the South-West. Our luncheon took place at an outstanding local pub called The Longs Arms and we were unanimous …

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Psmith in Pseattle: our little paradise

What Ho, old beans! Last week I attended an excellent binge at The Wodehouse Society's (TWS) 18th convention, Psmith in Pseattle. It was my first TWS convention, and even more psensational than anticipated. So, climb upon my knee, Sonny Boy, and I’ll tell you about it. Introductions As a TWS first timer, I entered the …

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Delightful Characters of the Canine kind in Plumsville

By Walescot (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

What Ho, What Ho! I was delighted to return from holiday to discover this piece, from fellow Wodehouse lover Ashokbhatia. Happy reading!

ashokbhatia

Every dog has his day. Well, on the occasion of Dogs’ Day, it is time to pay a tribute to some characters of the canine kind who regale us with their antics in Plumsville.dog-day

Their roles are not confined to the traditional kind which involve hunting, herding or pulling loads. They are never a part of a paw patrol handled by a rozzer. Instead, they have a healthy contempt for those in the uniform. They may not be indefatigable detectives out to assist a Sherlock Holmes in sniffing out crucial leads in a mysterious murder case, but they shape the love affairs of quite a few young men who wear their hearts on their sleeves.

In Plumsville, they enjoy motherly affections of the delicately nurtured. Their misdemeanors are overlooked. Their acts of omission are energetically defended, annoying the officers of the law. If taken into custody, prompt steps are taken…

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Wodehouse and Tennyson

When Bertie Wooster is brimming with joy on a fine spring morning in The Inimitable Jeeves, he says: 'In the spring, Jeeves, a livelier iris gleams upon the burnished dove.' It is one of many Wodehouse references to the works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (from the poem Locksley Hall). In Right Ho, Jeeves, Aunt Dahlia …

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The Hapless Rozzers in Plumsville

An excellent study of Plums’ Rozzers from the talented Ashokbhatia. Not to be missed!

HP

ashokbhatia

In quite a few memoirs of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, we are treated to an exquisite insight into the way the long arm of the law works.

One is not referring here to the stern looking beaks who sit in a Court of Law, eyeing Bertie Wooster or any of his friends censoriously over their well-polished pince-nez while dishing out sentences without the option.

Instead, one alludes here to the humble constabulary which ensures that the laws in force are rigorously implemented without a flaw on their personal reputation and character. While tracking down criminals, they spare no effort. It is their upright and proper conduct which upholds the might of the Law. They are invariably meticulous in their approach. They show due respect to the gentler sex, unless they have direct evidence to the contrary. Even defaulters of the canine kind do not escape their fury.

When it comes…

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A matter of style: Wodehouse and the modern rules of writing.

"I am no stranger to butterfly belly. A man who has had to pass himself off as Gussie Fink-Nottle to four aunts in a chilly Hampshire dining room with only orange juice in the carburettor knows the meaning of fear." Jeeves and the Wedding Bells Sebastian Faulks presumably knows the feeling pretty well too. As …

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Was P. G. Wodehouse squeamish about sex?

Yesterday, I pondered the rather baffling discovery that some of Wodehouse’s male characters have been named literary sex symbols. This subject can hardly be taken seriously. As the critic Emsworth notes, sex was never allowed to creep into Wodehouse’s world.

HP

EMSWORTH

We don’t mean this in a negative way, but the fact can’t be avoided: the Master wasn’t comfortable with sex. Not once in dozens of comic novels and hundreds of short stories with romantic plots, does any P. G. Wodehouse character indulge in the carnal passions, on-stage or off.  Considering that people probably joke about sex more than anything else, it’s almost astonishing how well Wodehouse got by as a comic writer without it.

Wodehouse wasn’t prudish in other respects. Bertie Wooster and his fellow Drones drink themselves silly, commit petty burglaries, fritter money away at casinos, resort to blackmail at the drop of a hat, and concoct hilarious frauds. And as the twentieth century wore on and the rules against explicit language in literature relaxed, so, in a modest way, did Wodehouse’s vocabulary. An occasional “hell” and “damn” sometimes crept in, and in The Mating Season (1950) characters use…

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