Introducing Jeeves: saviour or snake?

Meet Jeeves, the world’s most famous valet and P.G. Wodehouse’s best known character. The name Jeeves has come to symbolise the epitome of efficient service to millions who’ve never even read Wodehouse. Among fans, he is spoken of with a reverence usually reserved for deities. And how many of us have wished for a Jeeves in our lives? But is this rosy view of Jeeves as Bertie Wooster’s domestic saviour justified, when so often it is Jeeves who contrives the situations from which Bertie must be rescued? Nor is his support lacking in self-interest. In Wodehouse’s idyllic world, is Jeeves … Continue reading Introducing Jeeves: saviour or snake?

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Getting started with Bertie and Jeeves: a chronological challenge

New Wodehouse readers sometimes ask which of the Jeeves stories they should read first. Opinion on the matter is divided; some people recommend ‘Carry On, Jeeves’ (1925) whereas I suggest ‘The Inimitable Jeeves’ (1923). Both are excellent. The question is a matter of chronology.  This piece explores these starting points in more detail. Readers looking for a more complete reading list, with suggestions for getting started, may find this reading list for the Jeeves and Bertie Wooster stories helpful. Beginning with ‘Carry On, Jeeves’ Carry On Jeeves (1925) is a collection of short stories, beginning with ‘Jeeves Takes Charge’, in which … Continue reading Getting started with Bertie and Jeeves: a chronological challenge

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The four seasons of Wodehouse

Originally posted on Plumtopia:
It is commonly understood that, far from representing a bygone age, P.G. Wodehouse created an  idealised England that never really existed. Personally, I remain determined to find fragments of Wodehouse in reallife, and last October I immigrated to England in search of Plumtopia. I arrived in time for a glorious Autumn –  my favourite season. Surprisingly, Wodehouse sets only one novel in Autumn (that I can recall). I reached out a hand from under the blankets, and rang the bell for Jeeves. ‘Good evening, Jeeves,’ ‘Good morning, sir’ This surprised me. ‘Is it morning?’ ‘Yes, sir.’… Continue reading The four seasons of Wodehouse

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