Love in the Time of Wodehouse: Chiefly About Chickens

Better to have loved and lost, and bunged the whole thing down on paper, than never to have loved at all. Continue reading Love in the Time of Wodehouse: Chiefly About Chickens

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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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On this day: P.G. Wodehouse died 14 February 1975

P.G Wodehouse had double citizenship, British and American. He became Sir Pelham Wodehouse at the age of ninety-three, receiving a knighthood in the 1975 New Year’s Honours list. A month and a half later he died, of a heart attack, in a hospital on Long Island, near his home in Remsenburg. He was sitting in a chair, with a three-quarters-finished new Blandings novel in typescript and autograph notes around him. He had gone into hospital for tests to establish a cause, and indicate a cure, for a troublesome skin rash. He had been working right to the end. Richard Usborne … Continue reading On this day: P.G. Wodehouse died 14 February 1975

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A matter of style: Wodehouse and the modern rules of writing.

“I am no stranger to butterfly belly. A man who has had to pass himself off as Gussie Fink-Nottle to four aunts in a chilly Hampshire dining room with only orange juice in the carburettor knows the meaning of fear.” Jeeves and the Wedding Bells Sebastian Faulks presumably knows the feeling pretty well too. As the author of Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, Faulks has risked the ire of Wodehouse fans (already disgrunted after the BBC Blandings fiasco) and potentially his own reputation as a writer. For one of the problems with imitating Wodehouse in the 21st Century is that … Continue reading A matter of style: Wodehouse and the modern rules of writing.

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Wodehouse’s women: in the eye of the beholder

Wodehouse offers so much more to female readers than he is usually given credit for. A few months ago, I responded to criticism of Indian Summer of an Uncle by Janet Cameron (see my case for the defence). I feel sad that Cameron’s cursory appraisal of perceived gender issues has blinded her to the exquisite joys of his work. So today, I want to talk about why Wodehouse is a great writer of, and for, women. First, Wodehouse presents readers with heroines who are full of pep and ginger;  independent, sometimes feisty, characters who frequently outsmart the men. What a … Continue reading Wodehouse’s women: in the eye of the beholder

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