Tag Archives: christmas

What’s on Your Wodehouse Wish list?

 “I don’t mind telling you that, in the fullness of time, I believe this is going to spread a good deal of sweetness and light.”


The Indiscretions of Archie (1921)

Around this time every year, I post a few suggestions for anyone looking to give the gift of Wodehouse at Christmas.

For the Wodehouse devotee, Paul Kent’s new book on Wodehouse’s writing is sure to please and Wodehouse Society membership is always a good idea.

For new readers and those still working their way through Wodehouse’s substantial output, there is much to choose from. Try this reading guide if you’re looking for suggestions.

But this year I’d like to do things a little differently and ask you.

What’s on your Wodehouse wish list?

Please let us know via the comments below.

Self and cat are keen to spread some Wodehouse sweetness and light ourselves this year, so you never know your luck…

May all your wishes come true

‘You remember that old song, Spread a little happiness. Let’s sing it, shall we?’

‘Okay. I don’t recall the words too well. I’ll have to go tum-tum-tum a bit.’

‘Tum-tum-tum to your heart’s content. It’s the spirit that matters. Ready?’

‘I’m ready.’

‘Then let’s get down to it.’

They got down to it.

The Girl in Blue (1970)

12 Days of Wodehouse Christmas

What Ho! Ho! Ho!

I hope the festive season finds you happy, healthy and well.

Earlier this December, I had a bit of Twitter fun with a Wodehouse themed 12 Days of Christmas – featuring Wodehouse related gift ideas. This piece provides a summary for those of you who don’t follow Twitter. It may be a lazy way to blog, but news media organisations are reporting Tweets as news these days, and even Wodehouse wasn’t averse to reusing his own material. I hope it gives you some good gift ideas — for Christmas or any time of year.

With all the compliments of the season,

Honoria

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me — membership of a Wodehouse Society #12daysofWodehouse https://t.co/VBGQdSJz8g via @HonoriaPlum

1st

On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me –delicious Plum Pie #12daysofwodehouse pic.twitter.com/qqivdG207m

2nd

On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me — something shiny #12daysofWodehouse https://t.co/wy2M6bNCVm via @HonoriaPlum

3rd

On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – Mulliner’s Buck-U-Uppo https://t.co/4mnM9GES48 #12daysofWodehouse pic.twitter.com/yLXPFCj7B0

4th

On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – tickets to a Wodehouse show. Try Love on the Links at Salisbury Playhouse @salisburyplay #12daysofWodehouse https://t.co/iEG6KUTfib

5th

On the 6th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me — a My Man Jeeves carry bag https://t.co/Ab9qgdYrEj #12daysofWodehouse pic.twitter.com/yhl0cCReCB

6th

On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – The Amazing Hat Mystery https://t.co/ar1ABDaxZm #12daysofWodehouse pic.twitter.com/MfkDiOQTyl

7th

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me — Wodehouse in modern Dutch #12daysofWodehouse https://t.co/XrcFVGTm7C

8th.JPG

On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Wodehouse on DVD #12daysofWodehouse pic.twitter.com/tynu6Bc0hK

9th

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ‘Goodbye to All Cats’ a PG Wodehouse pick-me-up https://t.co/5ThqkiP3pn #12daysofWodehouse pic.twitter.com/SZw7axlVep

10th

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, ‘Bring on the Girls!’ by P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton– on their days in musical theatre #12daysofWodehouse https://t.co/oJSzS4bqD9 pic.twitter.com/fLpQ1JCZtP

11th

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, The Smile that Wins #12daysofWodehouse pic.twitter.com/z7By5lVq3J

12th.JPG

Wodehouse Society Christmas Gift Membership

The two twin souls gazed into each other’s eyes. There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.

From ‘Strychnine in the Soup’ (Mulliner Nights)

 

What Ho! Ho! Ho!

wsauceDecember is here again, which means many of us are turning our minds to Christmas. In a previous list of gift ideas for Wodehouse lovers, I suggested giving the gift of Wodehouse Society membership.

As an added incentive, the P.G. Wodehouse Society (UK) is offering gift membership. Prices start from £11.00 (for part-year membership) and you don’t need to live in the UK to join. All members receive the Society’s quarterly journal, Wooster Sauce and By the Way supplement (well worth the very reasonable membership fee). The Society hosts regular meetings and events, including a famous Biennial Dinner.

Visit pgwodehousesociety.org.uk to find out more

Joining a Wodehouse society is an excellent way to connect with other Wodehouse fans. If you live outside the UK, the Society website provides a list of international society contacts.

The US Wodehouse Society has many active regional chapters (including a new one in Rugby Tennessee) and publishes the excellent quarterly journal, Plum Lines. They also organise the biennial convention – a highlight in the Wodehouse lover’s calendar. See the Wodehouse Society website for details.

I’m also a member of the Netherlands P.G. Wodehouse Society, which recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Regrettably, I’ve not yet been able to attend one of their meetings, but this is now at the top of my Wodehouse ‘To Do’ list. Their Society journal is delightfully titled Nothing Serious, and I’m pleased to have added this dash of ‘modern Dutch’ to my collection.

Deciding which society to join was difficult (particularly when I lived in Australia) until I realised that you can join them all. Receiving the quarterly journals is always a thrill — and a welcome change from the sort of post I usually receive. I also feel more connected to other Wodehouse fans. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where Wodehouse lovers gather, the joys in this respect are immeasurable.

I would certainly recommend membership as a Christmas gift –or as a treat for yourself, any time of the year.

HP

journals

Wodehouse for Christmas: gifts that keep giving

A dash of Wodehouse is always a great gift idea. This seasonal piece offers a few ideas to help you choose something special for the Wodehouse lover in your life — or for those poor souls of your acquaintance who have yet to discover his healing prose.

Wodehouse for first timers
I often give Wodehouse books to new readers, with mixed results. The trick is to tailor your choice to what Jeeves calls ‘the psychology of the individual’. If you want to start your intended reader on the Jeeves stories, I recommend The Inimitable Jeeves.

With the Everyman (Overlook) Library editions making Wodehouse’s lesser known works widely available, you needn’t start with Jeeves. If your intended recipient is a fan of detective stories, Wodehouse’s world is full of shady activities, from impersonation through to pig-napping. Why not start them off with Sam the Sudden, or Piccadilly Jim? Or the first Blandings novel, Something Fresh — it’s a particular favourite of mine, now available in a special 100th Anniversary edition.

For romance with a female central character, try The Adventures of Sally or French Leave. For sports enthusiasts, try Wodehouse on golf in The Clicking of Cuthbert, or cricket in Wodehouse at the Wicket (compiled by Murray Hedgcock).

Wodehouse for enthusiasts
The task of collecting and reading your way through the published works of Wodehouse has never been easier, thanks to the aforementioned Everyman’s Library. If money is no object you can complete the set very quickly, but acquiring Wodehouse in smaller bites over a longer period allows readers to savour the pleasures of anticipating and enjoying each book on its own merits. It also allows friends and family to contribute with gifts they know will be appreciated.

To avoid duplication, keep a list of the titles you already have. Try this list of the Everyman editions as a starting point.

For serious enthusiasts, including those who have collected all the Wodehouse they can get their hands on, there are other ways to bring sweetness and light into their lives. Here are a few suggestions.

Recent releases on the subject of Wodehouse

globe

John Dawson and the Globe Reclamation Project team have spent two years researching, transcribing and evaluating material written during Wodehouse’s time at the Globe newspaper. John spoke passionately at the Seattle convention about his quest to uncover more of Wodehouse’s work, and the result is this wealth of ‘new’ Wodehouse material, made available to us all in: P.G. Wodehouse in the Globe Newspaper Volumes 1 & 2 . This is a non-profit undertaking with a discount available to Wodehouse Society members.

ntpmurphymiscellany2015 also saw the release of N.T.P. Murphy’s The P.G. Wodehouse Miscellany . It’s available in Kindle and Hardcover from Amazon or Kobo ebook (more details below). I’ve found this nifty little volume to be a valuable reference in the few short months since its release, and expect it will quickly establish itself as a ‘must have’ for Wodehouse enthusiasts.

Volume 1 of Murphy’s highly regarded A Wodehouse Handbook has been revised and re-released as an ebook, available from Kobo Books . You or your gift recipient will need the Kobo’s e-reader software, which is free to download from their website.

Wodehouse Society Membership.
Why not give the gift of membership? For a modest annual fee, members can attend society gatherings and receive a quarterly journal to keep them up to date on all things Wodehouse. Find out more from:

  • The Wodehouse Society (US) Membership costs $25. Have a look at their Regional Chapters page to find your nearest group.
  • The P G Wodehouse Society (UK) Membership costs £22 for a full year (£11 for 6 months if you join between December-February). The society holds meetings and social evenings in London, as well as occasional outings in the other locations.
  • A list of other Wodehouse Societies is available from the UK Society website.

Younger readers
For younger readers who may not be ready for their first Wodehouse, I recommend The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (recommended age 10+) or Guards! Guards! for adult readers. Terry Pratchett was a fitting winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction and I’d recommend his books generally to Wodehouse fans.

My daughter enjoys the Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens 51uvuq3vl2l-_sy344_bo1204203200_ql70_(Puffin Books recommend for ages 7-12). Set in a 1930s English girls’ boarding school, each book involves the girls in solving a murder. They’re written in an engaging style that doesn’t underestimate young readers’ intelligence, and they provide a good introduction to the period. This should help when your youngster is ready for Wodehouse. The fourth book in the series, Jolly Foul Play, is due out in March 2016.

Film, Television and Audiobook adaptations
Not all Wodehouse lovers enjoy seeing his work adapted. For those of us who do, some adaptations are difficult to find (the BBC telemovie Heavy Weather is not available on DVD) and others are best avoided. I don’t think you can go wrong with the Wodehouse Playhouse series. P.G. Wodehouse introduces several episodes himself. Another popular adaptation is the Jeeves and Wooster television series starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. This series introduced many people to the joys of Wodehouse, making it a good choice for Wodehouse fans and new readers alike.

Jeeves and the Mating Season Wodehouse (audiobook)I’d also highly recommend adding Wodehouse audiobooks to your collection, or giving them as a gift. There have been various narrators – all good in my view. A Wodehouse audiobook would make a wonderful gift for someone who may be incapacitated, ‘getting on’ in years, or for people with reading difficulties.

Miscellaneous gift ideas
I had many more ideas to share, but Christmas will have come and gone before a full list could be completed (if you’ve already done your shopping, you’ll at least be in time for the January sales). Here are a few more suggestions for the Wodehouse lover in your life:

  • A silver cow creamer
  • Spats and a Homburg hat, or a well-fitted Topper
  • A tightly rolled umbrella
  • Dahlias or Chrysanthemums
  • A Berkshire sow
  • Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire
  • A statue of the Infant Samuel at Prayer

In the spirit of Plumtopia, I end with another Wodehouse wishlist, from Mr Ashok Bhatia -– A Plum Wish List for Santa this Christmas! — as a reminder of the joy Wodehouse brings to readers all year round.

In the case of Wodehouse, that cliché about gifts that keep on giving, really does apply.

Happy Christmas everyone!

HP

A Plum Wish List for Christmas!

A poetic Christmas homage to Plum from the excellent Mr Ashok Bhatia.

ashokbhatia

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Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,

Santa asked us what he may bring us the next day.

We share with you the list which made him laugh aloud Ho Ho,

You may expand it, but please do not trim it, What ho!

 

We want to play with Poppet the dachshund who has a dislike for cats,

He would stop in his tracks, draw back his ears and drive away the gnats.

To play with Dog Bartholomew would be no less interesting,

Perhaps just to see the superior expression on his face vanishing.

 

Cat Augustus will perhaps become friends with us,

He may consent to doze off on our bed with us.

We hope a permission Lord Emsworth surely gives,

To visit the royal sty where the Empress lives.

 

Grand-uncle Tom we want to definitely meet in his study,

To offer him some advice on his…

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Seasons Greetings

Christmas pudding courtesy of wikipedia
Anyone for Plum Pudding?

What Ho! Ho! Ho!

To everyone who reads Plumtopia, wherever you are in the world, whatever the festive season means to you, I want to wish you and your family all the very best.

It means a great deal to me to know that someone, like you, is listening and interested in what I have to share at this page, so thank you!

2014 will, I hope, be a very productive year. I have an ambitious editorial calendar of writing planned, across three different pages. If you haven’t discovered them all yet, and think they may be of interest, they are:

Plumtopia: The world of P.G. Wodehouse

This was the first Blog I began and one I thoroughly enjoy writing. It is also my most popular, with almost 60 followers and lots of friendly visitors. All thanks to Wodehouse’s enduring popularity. I love to reblog other pieces and share pieces from guest writers as well.

Strong remarks from the bar

This page is essentially an opinion column. My grandmother used to say, rather unflatteringly, that I could argue the point on just about anything. This blog proves her correct. I will write on any topic (and I accept requests) addressed in alphabetical order. As the title suggests, I do hold strong views, and every time I click ‘publish’ I expect to unleash a storm of angry responses. But so far, the storm has not come. This page has a small following (thank you all), but it’s one I enjoy writing.

Honoria’s Notebook

I have referred to this page ‘an aspiring writer’s bottom drawer full of original fiction, journal jottings, cuttings and story inspirations.’ It is also, in part, a journal, a commentary on writing, and observations of humanity on my daily commute. It is where I post my own fiction, when I’m feeling brave. This page has a very small following (thanks again all) and has escaped the chopping block a few times, especially as I’m also trying to finish the novel I began in November. But I still have lots of ideas so Honoria’s Notebook will return in 2014.

I do hope you find something here to enjoy. I’m always keen to hear what you think so please do drop by and leave a comment. If you have written something that you’d like me share on any of these pages, please let me know. You can also reach me by email at mrsplum@hotmail.com.

Thanks again for tuning in, for reading, and for your support.

Best wishes to you all!

HP

Wodehouse Christmas

The first rule in buying Christmas presents is to select something shiny. If the chosen object is of leather, the leather must look as if it has been well greased; if of silver, it must gleam with the light that never was on sea or land. This is because the wariest person will often mistake shininess for expensiveness.

P.G. Wodehouse in Louder and Funnier

An interesting approach to Christmas, and one suspects Wodehouse may have had his wife in mind when he devised it. Not having a wife myself, it’s not a rule I’ve ever applied. I’m more inclined to be suspicious of ‘shiny things.’ A shiny thing is often the last thing people see before they exit this world.

What are your rules for present buying?

As a recipient of Christmas gifts, I imagine Wodehouse fitting comfortably in the pipe and slippers line. He was also fond of pot-boilers (if that’s the word I want, Jeeves), so perhaps a copy of  Blood on the Banisters, recommended by Cyril Mulliner, or The Herring Seller’s Apprentice by L.C.Tyler , recently reviewed by The Book Jotter).

What gift would you like to have given the great master for Christmas?

Today’s quote comes courtesy of Tony Ring’s The Wit and Wisdom of P.G.Wodehouse. I don’t own a copy of Louder and Funnier, but it would make a lovely Christmas gift.

HP

 

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