PG Wodehouse: the course of love

“I wish I had a quid for every girl Freddie Widgeon has loved and lost,” sighed an Egg wistfully. “If I had, I shouldn’t be touching you for a fiver.” Continue reading PG Wodehouse: the course of love

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A Centenary of A Damsel in Distress

‘I’ve a headache.’‘I thought you would have, laddie, when I saw you getting away with the liquid last night. An X-ray photograph of your liver would show something that looked like a crumpled oak-leaf studded with hob-nails. You ought to take more exercise, dear heart. Except for sloshing that policeman, you haven’t done anything athletic for years.’ A Damsel in Distress A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse was first published in the USA on 4 October 1919, having previously been serialised in the Saturday Evening Post in May-June of the same year. The first UK edition was published on … Continue reading A Centenary of A Damsel in Distress

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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 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 finds a bound volume of Tennyson just the thing for flinging at nephews, and although Bertie claims not to read Tennyson by choice, he is familiar enough with Tennyson’s stuff to quote him often. The following lines from Tennyson’s In memoriam, for example, will be … Continue reading Wodehouse and Tennyson

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