Wodehouse and the melancholy beard

It seems that P.G.Wodehouse, creator of dapper drones like Bertie Wooster (who wrote an article for Milady’s Boudoir on ‘What the What the Well-Dressed Man is Wearing’) was not a beard lover. When his clean shaven characters take to wearing false whiskers, the results are apt to be shocking. “…for the first time since I’d known him, I saw Jeeves come very near to being rattled. I suppose there’s a chink in everyone’s armour, and young Bingo found Jeeves’s right at the drop of the flag when he breezed in with six inches or so of brown beard hanging on to … Continue reading Wodehouse and the melancholy beard

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Perfect Nonsense

In December, I had the delightful privilege of seeing Perfect Nonsense on tour at the Theatre Royal in Bath. For anyone not already aware, Perfect Nonsense is a stage adaptation (by David and Robert Goodale) of The Code of the Woosters. It’s been well received by West End audiences since opening in 2013, and is now touring the UK until mid-2015 (see the official site for details). If you’re planning to see the show and don’t want to read my review, look away now.   The Goodale brothers’ clever adaptation sticks closely to Wodehouse’s original story and delicious dialogue, ensuring a … Continue reading Perfect Nonsense

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Jeeves and Worcestershire

Originally posted on The Book Cook:
When I was a young girl, I would watch my dad laughing out loud as he read P.G. Wodehouse. Wanting to be in on the joke, I would flip through the pages of the Jeeves and Wooster stories, laughing out loud in imitation even though I didn’t understand what was going on. As I got older and both my love of literature and sense of humor developed, my enjoyment of the books became authentic. Wodehouse’s writing style is light and his character descriptions are hilarious, and because of that, Jeeves and Wooster have long been my… Continue reading Jeeves and Worcestershire

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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 Romances of Bingo Little: Mabel

I confess I have a soft spot for the romantic Bingo Little. When we first meet him in The Inimitable Jeeves,  Bertie warns us about his habit of falling in love. Ever since I have known him – and we were at school together – he has been perpetually falling in love with someone, generally in the spring, which seems to act on him like magic. At school he had the finest collection of actresses’ photographs of anyone of his time; and at Oxford his romantic nature was a byword. The first of Bingo’s romances to be chronicled by Bertram Wooster … Continue reading The Romances of Bingo Little: Mabel

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The Inimitable Jeeves (1923)

I’m not much of a ladies’ man, but on this particular morning it seemed to me that what I really wanted was some charming girl to buzz up and ask me to save her from assassins or something. So that it was a bit of an anti-climax when I merely ran into young Bingo Little, looking perfectly foul in a crimson satin tie decorated with horseshoes. The Inimitable Jeeves is a great place for new Wodehouse readers to discover Wodehouse’s best known characters, Bertie Wooster and his valet (or gentleman’s gentleman) Jeeves. Although it doesn’t include the first Jeeves and … Continue reading The Inimitable Jeeves (1923)

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Wodehouse and Wittgenstein

Originally posted on Great War Fiction:
During my Dornford Yates talk at the Newcastle Great War and Popular Culture conference earlier this year, I got an unexpected laugh (as well as some chuckles I’d planned for). It was when I quoted Wittgenstein saying: “I couldn’t understand the humour in Journey’s End.… I wouldn’t want to joke about a situation like that.” I suppose people thought I was having a dig at humourless Teutons, or over-serious philosophers, but I didn’t intend this, actually. In fact, Wittgenstein seems to have had a serviceable enough sense of humour when not in his most… Continue reading Wodehouse and Wittgenstein

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The Hapless Rozzers in Plumsville

Originally posted on ashokbhatia:
In quite a few memoirs of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, we are treated to an exquisite insight into the way the long arm of the law works. One is not referring here to the stern looking beaks who sit in a Court of Law, eyeing Bertie Wooster or any of his friends censoriously over their well-polished pince-nez while dishing out sentences without the option. Instead, one alludes here to the humble constabulary which ensures that the laws in force are rigorously implemented without a flaw on their personal reputation and character. While tracking down criminals, they… Continue reading The Hapless Rozzers in Plumsville

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Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense

Originally posted on In a Merry Hour: Caitlin E McDonald:
Repost: with One Stop Arts closing, I migrated this review here. In Perfect Nonsense Matthew Macfadyen, Stephen Mangan and Mark Hadfield serve up – on a silver platter – an evening of dulcet-toned, dinner-jacketed fun. Robert and David Goodale provide a fresh and lively take on the much beloved Wodehouse characters Jeeves and Wooster. At the Duke of York’s Theatre. Gentle reader, you may already realise how difficult a thing it must be to successfully adapt Wodehouse. Though a successful lyricist and playwright, his novels are largely narrative-driven, with dialogue taking… Continue reading Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense

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Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: A Review

Don the sponge-bag trousers and keep a customary fish slice at the ready. Bertie Wooster, it seems, is finally getting married. Last month, as you may know if you follow the goings-on at Plumtopia, I purchased a copy of Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastain Faulks. Finally, after two abortive attempts, which degenerated into rants on other matters, I have finally set about reviewing it. Or at least, it’s a review of sorts. I’m very much a novice reviewer, and although I ‘read as a writer’, it’s as an unpublished writer whose bottom drawer is full of bilge that … Continue reading Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: A Review

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