Wodehouse to the rescue again

Plumtopia has been a selfish venture from the beginning. It was born from my own dissatisfaction with life, and the search for a better kind of world – that I called Plumtopia. Having never met a fellow Wodehouse fan I presumed I’d have no audience, and consequently wrote entirely to please myself. I do love the sound of my own keyboard. But then something wonderful happened. People started to read, to comment, and even identify with some of the thoughts and feelings I expressed. I may be no closer to finding Plumtopia, but there is comfort in knowing that I’m in dashed good company.

That dashed good company includes Noel Bushnell. Many of the blogs I read are rousing social and political commentaries that cause the blood pressure to rise and the soul to despair (not that I blame writers for reflecting a troubled world). So reading Noel’s aptly titled Wodehouse to the rescue felt like an application of soothing balm. I loved it!

Today, I’m sharing his terrific follow up piece, commemorating the Centenary of P.G. Wodehouse’s collaboration with Guy Bolton, and Jerome Kern. It’s a must for Wodehouse fans.



The Traveller

I presented the following talk to the Ferkytoodlers group of serious thinkers over lunch at the Melbourne Savage Club on Wednesday, 11 November 2015. I intended to post it here with suitable modifications and credits the following weekend but, when I awoke that Saturday morning to news of the dreadful events in Paris overnight, somehow the works of a long dead author and the peaceful world of his imagination seemed less important. It seemed in bad taste to be prattling on about trivial entertainment when people were being murdered.

Of course, the Paris massacre is by no means unique in our world – alas! – and as I brooded on this bleak topic I was reminded of a remark Wodehouse blogger Honoria Plum made in a comment on my first Wodehouse to the rescue piece. She referred to the sentiment behind her blog, Plumtopia, as “looking for snippets of…

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12 thoughts on “Wodehouse to the rescue again

  1. This posting could not have come at a better time for me. I am putting together an eight-week course in “The World of P. G. Wodehouse” and have been preparing the lecture notes on the session about his work as a writer of lyrics with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern. Thank you so much!

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  2. The course is being offered in the Spring term of the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium. The course is made up of eight two-hour classes that meets once a week. We will be reading The Code of the Woosters, Uncle Fred in the Springtime and 14 short stories found in a collection called The Best of Wodehouse. Discussions, films and CDs and (I hope) a lot of fun. I have 17 students who are over 50. The first class meets Monday afternoon March 21. I have taught Sherlock Holmes in the same venue for a number of years. This course should answer two questions: Does Randy Cox know about something other than Sherlock Holmes? and Is there more to P. G. Wodehouse than Jeeves and Wooster? I’ll try to keep you posted.

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      1. How exciting. If you have a few words to say about it, I would be very pleased to reproduce them here under your name, or link to something you have written/produced elsewhere– it is sure to interest many of us. Well done!


      2. Honoria,

        The course was called The World of P. G. Wodehouse and was offered by the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium in Northfield, Minnesota between March and May 2016. There were 8 weekly classes lasting two hours each. Our text was THE BEST OF WODEHOUSE:AN ANTHOLOGY from Everyman’s Library. Two novels and 14 short stories plus some excerpts from OVER SEVENTY. At the beginning I asked the students (18, all over 55 years in age) to tell me how they had come to know about Wodehouse. Some had read much, some little, some none at all (they knew of him from the Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry tv series when it aired here on Masterpiece Theatre (and introduced by Alastair Cooke).

        We watched films, TV episodes, listened to audio recordings and I tried to provide background in my lectures and comments.

        One session was devoted to Wodehouse as the writer of lyrics and that was when Noel Bushnell’s essay on the trio of musical fame dropped into my inbox. I was still writing my lecture to accompany a CD of selected songs and it seemed the perfect way to pull everything together to fill 20 minutes. It was short enough, but with enough detail so that if no one had ever heard of the Princess Theater before they would learn enough. As I said, it was perfect. It all occurred on April 25.

        I don’t see any place to attach a file here, but I have a 6 page syllabus that I could attach to an email message if you think you would like to see it.


      3. That’s wonderful Randy. I hope your students had as mush fun as I did. Everybody interested in Plum’s theatre career might like to look up the That’s Entertainment blog of Jackson Upperco. He’s been running a series on the early musicals of Jerome Kern and that necessarily included the Princess and other shows with PGW and Guy Bolton. He has managed to source recordings of many PGW songs from those shows (not originals in the main but really interesting). His last post in the series was at shohttps://jacksonupperco.com/2016/09/26/early-kern-x-zip-goes-a-million-1919/ws and from there you can link back to his previous work. Most enjoyable and instructive. Cheers


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