The Great Wodehouse Romances: Archibald’s Benefit

‘Archibald’s Benefit’ (1909) is a delightful short story, included in The Man Upstairs (1914). It relates the trials of Archibald Mealing, a keen but inept golfer, and his romance with Margaret Milsom. I say inept. Wodehouse says: Archibald, mark you, whose golf was a kind of blend of hockey, Swedish drill, and buck-and-wing dancing. For a sense of Archibald’s golfing style, this excellent instructional video from Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz (of Duke University) helps to demonstrate how a dash of buck-and-wing might have impaired Archibald’s success off the tee. His golf may be rotten, but Archie is in good spirits, … Continue reading The Great Wodehouse Romances: Archibald’s Benefit

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‘Goodbye to All Cats’

Originally posted on Great War Fiction:
I’ve written a chapter for a forthcoming collection of critical essays on P. G. Wodehouse. (I’ll be sure to relay full information here when there is firm news about publication date and details.) My piece is on Wodehouse and the Great War – which might sound to some people like one of those thesis subjects imagined by parodists of academia, like ‘Jane Austen and the French Revolution’ , but looking at Wodehouse in relation to the War really does reveal some quite interesting things about his early work, and his attitude to his writing… Continue reading ‘Goodbye to All Cats’

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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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