Wodehouse’s Anti-Semitism in Context by Elliott Milstein

This article was originally published in the March 2019 edition of Wooster Sauce, the journal of The P G Wodehouse Society (UK) and is reproduced here with kind permission of the author. * * * Wodehouse’s Anti-Semitism in Context by Elliott Milstein In searching the internet for reactions to the recent news regarding Westminster Abbey’s plans to dedicate a memorial to P. G. Wodehouse, one of the netizens of PGWNet uncovered an article by Benjamin Ivry in the October 18, 2018, edition of Forward whose title really says it all: “How Lovely P.G. Wodehouse Was – Such a Shame About … Continue reading Wodehouse’s Anti-Semitism in Context by Elliott Milstein

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P.G. Wodehouse Reference Guide for Political Commentary

The name P.G. Wodehouse is seeing a resurgence in the somewhat unlikely arena of online political commentary, particularly in Britain.  This puts some people — those who’ve never read any Wodehouse, but seem determined to lug him into the row … Continue reading P.G. Wodehouse Reference Guide for Political Commentary

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On this day 1960: P.G. Wodehouse didn’t turn 80.

P.G Wodehouse was born on 15 October 1881, in Guildford, England. It’s a fact you’re probably aware of already, as the social media machine churns out OTD (On This Day) tributes in an attempt to generate content to the masses. This doesn’t bother me per se. I like social media, I like history, and there are worse things we could be tweeting about. But today’s small flurry of activity marking the anniversary of P.G. Wodehouse’s birth has drawn my attention to some unfortunate inaccuracies and misconceptions about the man, his life and his work. Poor old Plum had to cope … Continue reading On this day 1960: P.G. Wodehouse didn’t turn 80.

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Do Not Hate In The Plural

Originally posted on Nourish-n-Cherish:
I was reading a short story by P.G.Wodehouse on the train. These are the times when I most mistaken for a lunatic. My seat shudders with unconcealed mirth. I giggle, laugh and sometimes wipe away tears of laughter, while the world is going about the stern business of earning a living. He is one of my favorite authors, and after every few books that makes me mope around the world pondering on the wretchedness and seriousness of life, I turn to a P.G.W book to remind myself that tomfoolery is a virtue to be exalted and… Continue reading Do Not Hate In The Plural

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On this day: George Orwell, who wrote in Defence of P.G. Wodehouse, was born (1903)

George Orwell was born on this day 1903. Best known as the author of dystopian classics 1984 and Animal Farm, Orwell also wrote a 1946 essay ‘In Defence of P.G. Wodehouse’. The background to this story has been covered in much detail elsewhere.* Before the start of the Second World War, P.G. Wodehouse was living in France. When the German Army invaded, he was among those captured and interned — in a succession of prison camps, from Belgium to Upper Silesia. He continued to write throughout his internment, and read his light-hearted camp diary aloud for the amusement of his … Continue reading On this day: George Orwell, who wrote in Defence of P.G. Wodehouse, was born (1903)

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PG Wodehouse 1958 interview

PG Wodehouse First broadcast: 26 October 1958 Starting with footage of PG Wodehouse at home in the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island, this interview shows the author at his genial and self-deprecating best. Wodehouse cheerfully discusses his long writing career, his eschewal of ‘serious’ fiction and the lack of sex in his books. via BBC One – Monitor, 26/10/1958, PG Wodehouse What Ho! During a recent rummage through the BBC website for a dash of Wodehouse related light-relief, I happened across this interview with the author himself. It also includes footage of Wodehouse at home on Long Island. In … Continue reading PG Wodehouse 1958 interview

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The Code of the Woosters: PG Wodehouse’s guide to fighting fascism (The Guardian)

This article by Sam Jordison appeared online at The Guardian today: The Code of the Woosters: PG Wodehouse’s guide to fighting fascism | Books | The Guardian In many respects it’s a welcome move in the right direction, away from the usual misinformation and conjecture about Wodehouse’s wartime experience. Sam Jordison is right to point out that Wodehouse made fun of the British fascist Oswald Mosley in The Code of the Woosters (1938): The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, … Continue reading The Code of the Woosters: PG Wodehouse’s guide to fighting fascism (The Guardian)

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Wodehouse misremembered

Bestsellers: Popular Fiction Since 1900 (2002) by Clive Bloom In many respects, Clive Bloom’s ‘Bestsellers’ is an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the history of publishing, reading, and the emergence of ‘the bestseller’ in the twentieth century. Happily for me, Bloom also chooses some of my favourite authors (P.G. Wodehouse, George MacDonald Fraser, John Buchan, Agatha Christie) to illustrate his points. Bloom tracks the development of ‘the bestseller’ alongside increasing literacy levels in Britain, showing how new literature classifications emerged (high-brow and low-brow) to keep class distinctions alive in literature, once the lower … Continue reading Wodehouse misremembered

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The Wipers Times (and Wodehouse?)

Originally posted on Great War Fiction:
Next week on BBC TV there’s a promising-looking film about The Wipers Times. Ian Hislop and Nick Newman are the authors. It will tell the story of how they found a printing press under the blasted ramparts of Ypres, and put it to use to create a very witty paper.  I Like Newman’s comments on the aim of the film: I imagine viewers might be expecting to see a tragic tale of lives lost in a futile war, and we’ve had a lot of films like that and some of them are very, very… Continue reading The Wipers Times (and Wodehouse?)

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