PG Wodehouse: the course of love

“I wish I had a quid for every girl Freddie Widgeon has loved and lost,” sighed an Egg wistfully. “If I had, I shouldn’t be touching you for a fiver.” Continue reading PG Wodehouse: the course of love

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Wodehouse Pick-Me-Ups – which stories would be in your collection?

The P G Wodehouse Society (UK) wants to know which three short stories you would include in a Wodehouse Pick-Me-Up edition.  In the latest edition of Wooster Sauce, Quarterly Journal of The P G Wodehouse Society (UK), the Society is offering members who answer this question the chance to win copies of Random House’s new ‘Pick-Me-Up’ editions. For anyone not already ‘in the know’, the article describes this collection as follows: Punningly termed ‘pick-me-up’s’ to reflect both their expected sales position near the tills and the expressed belief that Wodehouse writing offers a pick-me-up for any reader, no matter what … Continue reading Wodehouse Pick-Me-Ups – which stories would be in your collection?

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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, … Continue reading The Great Wodehouse Romances: Archibald’s Benefit

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The Annual Mothers’ Treat

When you are shut up all the year round in a place like Maiden Eggesford, with nothing to do but wash underclothing and attend Divine Service, you naturally incline to let yourself go a bit at times of festival and holidays. ‘Tried in the Furnace’ (Young Men in Spats) What Ho! What Ho! I’m in an effervescent sort of mood today as I’m about to motor to the seaside for a short, much-needed holiday. My journey will take in the Dorset towns of Maiden Newton and Bridport, which the scholars at Madam Eulalie suggest as likely locations for P.G. Wodehouse’s … Continue reading The Annual Mothers’ Treat

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The Drones Club: Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps

‘…he [Barmy] would have been the first to agree that he had never been one of those brainy birds whose heads bulge out at the back. Some birds bulged and some birds didn’t, you had to face it, he would have said, and he was one of the birds who didn’t. At Eton everyone had called him Barmy. At Oxford everyone had called him Barmy. And even in the Drones Club, a place where the level of intellect is not high, it was as Barmy that he was habitually addressed.’ Barmy in Wonderland (1952) Cyril “Barmy” Fotheringay-Phipps (pronounced Fungy), a … Continue reading The Drones Club: Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps

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‘Goodbye to All Cats’

Originally posted on Great War Fiction:
I’ve written a chapter for a forthcoming collection of critical essays on P. G. Wodehouse. (I’ll be sure to relay full information here when there is firm news about publication date and details.) My piece is on Wodehouse and the Great War – which might sound to some people like one of those thesis subjects imagined by parodists of academia, like ‘Jane Austen and the French Revolution’ , but looking at Wodehouse in relation to the War really does reveal some quite interesting things about his early work, and his attitude to his writing… Continue reading ‘Goodbye to All Cats’

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Wodehouse and Tennyson

When Bertie Wooster is brimming with joy on a fine spring morning in The Inimitable Jeeves, he says: ‘In the spring, Jeeves, a livelier iris gleams upon the burnished dove.’ It is one of many Wodehouse references to the works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (from the poem Locksley Hall). In Right Ho, Jeeves, Aunt Dahlia finds a bound volume of Tennyson just the thing for flinging at nephews, and although Bertie claims not to read Tennyson by choice, he is familiar enough with Tennyson’s stuff to quote him often. The following lines from Tennyson’s In memoriam, for example, will be … Continue reading Wodehouse and Tennyson

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Plumtopia returns: bigger, better, Plummier

What Ho! When I started this blog in August 2011, I had a clear vision to combine my lifelong quest for utopia with my love of P.G. Wodehouse. I wanted to explore the possibilities of creating my own kind of Wodehousian existence. I hit upon a successful formula early on: take a snippet from Wodehouse on a particular topic and muse upon its teachings. Then I lost the plot. Plumtopia was always personal , but at some dark point in the proceedings, the personal quest overtook the simple pleasures of enjoying and sharing Wodehouse. Like the great Russian novelists, I … Continue reading Plumtopia returns: bigger, better, Plummier

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