Happy P.G. Wodehouse Day!

What Ho, and Happy P.G. Wodehouse Day everyone! That’s what I’m calling Valentine’s Day this year. And why not? It’s a good day for it. Saint Valentine can’t expect all the attention for himself. Nor can he bally well object — as the Patron Saint of affianced couples, love, and marriage — to us celebrating an author who wrote about these things in abundance. St Valentine’s Day is also the anniversary of P.G. Wodehouse’s death in 1975. And if your romantic life on Valentine’s Day is as depressing as mine, Wodehouse is the man to turn to for solace and … Continue reading Happy P.G. Wodehouse Day!

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Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party for P.G. Wodehouse

Agatha Christie’s novel Hallowe’en Party, the 39th outing for Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, was first published In November 1969. Christie dedicated it: To P. G. Wodehouse — whose books and stories have brightened my life for many years. Also, to show my pleasure in his having been kind enough to tell me he enjoyed my books. In February 2015, many of Agatha Christie’s letters were published to mark the 125th anniversary of her birth. They included a letter from P.G.Wodehouse, thanking Christie for the dedication. Wodehouse and Christie were mutual admirers of each other’s work, and had begun corresponding fifteen … Continue reading Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party for P.G. Wodehouse

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Ukridge a hit with Dad

Somebody met him in New York, just off a cattle-ship. Somebody else saw him in Buenos Ayres. Somebody, again, spoke sadly of having been pounced on by him at Monte Carlo and touched for a fiver. It was not until I settled down in London that he came back into my life. We met in Piccadilly one day, and resumed our relations where they had broken off. Old associations are strong, and the fact that he was about my build and so could wear my socks and shirts drew us very close together. (‘Ukridge’s Dog College’ in Ukridge) Back in … Continue reading Ukridge a hit with Dad

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P.G. Wodehouse reading list: the Blandings stories

Lord Emsworth breathed heavily. He had not supposed that in these degenerate days a family like this existed. The sister copped Angus McAllister on the shin with stones, the brother bit Constance in the leg . . . It was like listening to some grand saga of the exploits of heroes and demigods. ‘Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend’ (Blandings Castle) This is a guide for readers wanting to discover the joys of P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings series. It follows previous guides: A Wodehouse Reading Guide (with suggestions for new readers); and A reading list for the Jeeves and Wooster stories. … Continue reading P.G. Wodehouse reading list: the Blandings stories

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A note on the Psmith-Halliday romance by K.V.K. Murthy

This February’s Great Wodehouse romances series continues with another guest author, K.V.K. Murthy, known to Facebook friends as James Joyce.  His piece takes us on a walk through romantic literary history with Psmith and Eve Halliday (Leave it to Psmith). A note on the Psmith-Halliday romance by K.V.K. Murthy The question of favourites is mostly subjective, and Wodehouse’s vast canvas of miniature romances doubtless provides for each taste. The Gussie-Bassett, Tuppy-Angela, Bingo-Banks and others too numerous to mention are all miniatures :a concatenation (to use Jeeves’ word) of comical situation, Edwardian silly-assness and a bit of fat-headedness thrown in for seasoning. They … Continue reading A note on the Psmith-Halliday romance by K.V.K. Murthy

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A Visit to the Wodehouse family archives

On a beautiful autumn day, I left London’s Victoria Station for the glorious Sussex countryside to visit the home of Sir Edward Cazalet, P.G. Wodehouse’s step-grandson. I had met Edward and his wife Camilla, Lady Cazalet, in London during the summer, and they generously invited me to visit their home to view the family’s archive of Wodehouse materials. The train journey was a pleasant, uneventful affair, which did not seem, to me, to be in quite the proper Wodehouse spirit. I ought to have been playing ‘Persian Monarchs’ with a genial stranger, or thumbing through a volume of poems by … Continue reading A Visit to the Wodehouse family archives

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Ridiculous Beginnings

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Albert Camus The world of literature is blessed with many brilliantly conceived and well-remembered beginnings, celebrated in fitting tributes across the blogoshpere. Inspired by Albert Camus’s appreciation of the ridiculous, I have been contemplating great beginnings in humorous fiction. Terry Pratchett, the modern master of intelligent ridiculousness, begins Hogfather on a similar theme. Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree. Further thoughts on the subject are offered by Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe . The story so far: In the beginning the universe … Continue reading Ridiculous Beginnings

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