Highballs for Breakfast

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, … Continue reading Highballs for Breakfast

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2016 Reading Challenge: French Leave (A book set in Europe)

Originally posted on Plumtopia:
I recently took a well-thumbed copy of Wodehouse’s French Leave on holiday to Paris, a city famed for its literary connections. P.G. Wodehouse was briefly a resident, and opens the second chapter of French Leave (1956) there: As the clocks of Paris were striking eleven on a morning three weeks after the Bensonburg expeditionary force had set out for Europe, a tall, willowy, elegant figure dressed in the extreme of fashion, turned the corner of the Rue Belleau and entered the Rue Vanaye. It was Nicholas Jules St Xavier Auguste, Marquis de Maufringneuse et Valerie-Moberanne, affectionately… Continue reading 2016 Reading Challenge: French Leave (A book set in Europe)

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Laughing Gas (for troubled times)

‘Haven’t you ever heard of Sister Lora Luella Stott?’ ‘No. Who is she?’ ‘She is the woman who is leading California out of the swamp of alcohol.’ ‘Good God!’ I could tell by Eggy’s voice that he was interested. ‘Is there a swamp of alcohol in these parts? What an amazing country America is. Talk about every modern convenience. Do you mean you can simply go there and lap?’ Laughing Gas (1936) We live in troubled times. Evelyn Waugh knew a thing or two when he said of Wodehouse: ‘He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may … Continue reading Laughing Gas (for troubled times)

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Happy New Year: Snifters with Ukridge at the Coal Hole

N.T.P. Murphy identifies the Coal Hole in The Strand (in A Wodehouse Handbook, Volume One ) as one of four remaining London pubs mentioned in Wodehouse’s writing. It is mentioned in ‘The Debut of Battling Billson’, after long-suffering narrator James Corcoran meets Ukridge at the Gaiety Theatre. ‘Hallo, laddie!’ said Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, genially. ‘When did you get back? I say, I want you to remember this tune, so that you can remind me of it tomorrow, when I’ll be sure to have forgotten it. This is how it goes.’ He poised himself flat-footedly in the surging tide of pedestrians … Continue reading Happy New Year: Snifters with Ukridge at the Coal Hole

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A Damsel in Distress in Chichester

‘How’s the show going?’ ‘It’s a riot. They think it will run two years in London. As far as I can make it out you don’t call it a success in London unless you can take your grandchildren to see the thousandth night.’ A Damsel in Distress (1919) To celebrate the recent anniversay of the first Blandings novel, I visited the charming town of Chichester to see a new stage musical adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse’s A Damsel in Distress. This story first appeared as a serial in the ‘Saturday Evening Post’ in 1919, and was published in book form later … Continue reading A Damsel in Distress in Chichester

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Wodehouse’s Women: Doctor Sally

As Doctor Sally begins, we meet Sir Hugo Drake, a nerve specialist and keen golfer who is impressed by the sight of a golf ball in flight that plops superbly upon the green of the devilish eighteenth hole. I say impressed. What Wodehouse says is: ‘The stout man congealed like one who has seen a vision.’ Sir Hugo toddles off in admiration to find the golfer responsible, to congratulate him on a magnificent shot. It was not the pro. It was not a man at all. It was a girl – and a small girl, at that. That she was also … Continue reading Wodehouse’s Women: Doctor Sally

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Accountants in Love

He was a chartered accountant, and all chartered accountants have hearts as big as hotels. You think they’re engrossed in auditing the half-yearly balance sheets of Miggs, Montagu and Murgatroyd, general importers, and all time they’re writing notes to blondes saying “Tomorrow, one-thirty, same place”. Ice in the Bedroom (1961) It’s typical of this genial and generous author to sympathise with the misunderstood members of a profession so mocked and maligned. We all want to be loved, after all, and accountants are people too. Is Wodehouse correct in his claim that all accountants are big hearted? My regretful, but considered answer … Continue reading Accountants in Love

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