Wodehouse has long been an especial favourite of some of my closest sec sch friends and myself – from our teenage years, to our years in England where his stories are set, to this day…
I have lost track of which Wodehouses I’ve not read (he’s published more than a hundred books)… Why did they not invent Goodreads earlier? So in my current wave of picking some up from the library (5 of his in the past month) I’ve taken to avoiding the Jeeves series since I can no longer recall which I’ve not read. The latest ‘Lord Emsworth acts for the best’ (Penguin edition) comes with a wonderful introduction, which reads more like a tribute to his literary excellence amongst comedic authors. Thought I’d share some of it here…
Knighted in jan 1975 when ‘the British govt, in an exceedingly rare moment when a burst of common sense coincided with an awareness of literary genius in its balliwick’, the 74 year old then breathed his last on Valentine’s day that year.
He had still been working on a book, one of the Blandings castle series that he’d been writing for 62 years. The poignantly titled ‘Sunset at Blandings’ was posthumously published in 1977.
Some choice morsels are as follows:
“Yes, sir,” said Jeeves in a low, cold voice, as if he had been bitten in the leg by a personal friend.
The Senior Conservative Club is a solid and massive building, but, as Lord Emsworth raised his eyes dumbly from the perusal of this letter, it seemed to him that it was performing a kind of whirling dance. The whole of the immediate neighbourhood, indeed, appeared to be shimmying in the middle of a thick mist. He was profoundly stirred. It was not too much to say that he was shaken to the core of his being.”
The least thing upsets him on the links. He misses short putts because of the uproar of the butterflies in the adjoining meadows.