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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Hard knocks: Wodehouse, cricket and me

‘They belong to the school of thought which holds that the beauty of cricket is that, above all other games, it offers such magnificent opportunities for a long drink and a smoke in the shade. The Hearty Lunchers do not take their cricket in that spirit of deadly and business-like earnest which so many people consider is spoiling the game.’ Continue reading Hard knocks: Wodehouse, cricket and me

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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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