PG Wodehouse's language shimmers, much as his character Jeeves enters a room. It is just there, bright and intelligent. To be honest, what it says might not be terribly deep, but it says a great deal about how to say something. For those for whom English a second, third, or fourth language, learning tongue can be an aduous task. Once the basics have been learned, one could do worse than learn of its possibilities of playfulness than reading a stack of Wodehouse comic novels and stories. It might not be of any use in speaking American, but it is still fun.

I was just puttering about with a few omnibuses of Plum's prose, intending to wing off a few juicy bits. However, soon I became quite perplexed. Here is the nub, the point, the gist, if you will. It's terribly difficult to tear chunks of meat bleeding from the body of the work without feeling, well, a bit rude about the whole thing, if you know what I mean. It's the whole rhythm of the words and the nonsense piled upon gorgeous nonsense that is the thing, of course. But in any case, here are a few quotations that you might enjoy. Those that really make my point require noding the novel.

"I don't know if you have had the same experience, but the snag I alway come up against when I'm telling a story is this dashed difficult problem of where to begin it. It's a thing you don't want to go wrong over, because one false step and you're sunk. I mean, if you fool about too long at the start, trying to establish atmosphere, as they call it, and all that sort of rot, you fail to grip and the customers walk out on you.
"Get off the mark, on the other hand, like a scalded cat, and your public is at a loss. It simply raises its eyebrows, and can't make out what you are talking about."
Right Ho, Jeeves1934

"A chap who's supposed to stop chaps pinching things from chaps having a chap come along and pinch something from him."
The Code of the Woosters(1938)

Authors on Plum Wodehouse:

Evelyn Waugh: "He will continue to release future generations from captivity which may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in."

Douglas Adams: "One of the most blissful joys of the English language is the fact that one of its greatest practitioners ever was a jokesmith. What Wodehouse writes is pure word music."

This year is the 25th anniversary of his death.

A quite complete list of all the novels that were written by that eminent author, P.G. Wodehouse. This list is ordered chronologically according to year of publication. Alternative titles are listed in parentheses. Short story collections are not included in this list. I'd say: collect them all, and read these books!

  • 1902 The Pothunters
  • 1903 A Prefect's Uncle
  • 1904 The Gold Bat
  • 1904 William Tell Told Again
  • 1905 The Head of Kay's
  • 1906 Love Among the Chickens (revised in 1920)
  • 1907 The White Feather
  • 1907 Not George Washington (with H. Westbrook)
  • 1908 The Luck Stone
  • 1909 The Swoop!
  • 1909 Mike (later divided into Mike at Wrykyn and Mike and Psmith)
  • 1910 The Intrusion of Jimmy (A Gentleman of Leisure)
  • 1910 Psmith in the City (The New Fold)
  • 1912 The Prince and Betty
  • 1913 The Little Nugget
  • 1914 A Man of Means
  • 1914 The White Hope (Their Mutual Child/The Coming of Bill)
  • 1915 Something New (Something Fresh)
  • 1915 Psmith, Journalist
  • 1916 Uneasy Money
  • 1917 Piccadilly Jim
  • 1919 A Damsel in Distress
  • 1920 The Little Warrior (Jill the Reckless)
  • 1921 Indiscretions of Archie
  • 1922 Three Men and a Maid (The Girl on the Boat)
  • 1922 The Adventures of Sally (Mostly Sally)
  • 1923 The Inimitable Jeeves (Jeeves)
  • 1923 Leave It to Psmith
  • 1924 Bill the Conquerer
  • 1925 Sam the Sudden (Sam in the Suburbs)
  • 1927 The Small Bachelor
  • 1928 Money For Nothing
  • 1929 Fish Preferred (Summer Lightning)
  • 1931 Big Money
  • 1931 If I Were You
  • 1932 Doctor Sally (The Medicine Girl)
  • 1932 Hot Water
  • 1933 Heavy Weather
  • 1934 Thank You, Jeeves
  • 1934 Right Ho, Jeeves (Brinkley Manor)
  • 1935 The Luck of the Bodkins
  • 1936 Laughing Gas
  • 1937 Summer Moonshine
  • 1938 The Code of the Woosters
  • 1939 Uncle Fred in the Springtime
  • 1940 Quick Service
  • 1942 Money in the Bank
  • 1946 Joy in the Morning (Jeeves in the Morning)
  • 1947 Full Moon
  • 1948 Spring Fever
  • 1948 Uncle Dynamite
  • 1949 The Mating Season
  • 1951 The Old Reliable (Phipps to the Rescue)
  • 1952 Barmy in Wonderland (Angel Cake)
  • 1952 Pigs Have Wings
  • 1953 Ring For Jeeves (The Return of Jeeves)
  • 1956 French Leave
  • 1957 Something Fishy (The Butler Did It)
  • 1958 Cocktail Time
  • 1960 How Right You Are, Jeeves (Jeeves in the Offing)
  • 1961 Ice in the Bedroom
  • 1961 Service With a Smile
  • 1963 Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves
  • 1964 Biffen's Millions (Frozen Assets)
  • 1965 The Brinkmanship of Galahad Threepwood (Galahad at Blandings)
  • 1967 The Purloined Paperweight (Company For Henry)
  • 1968 Do Butlers Burgle Banks?
  • 1969 A Pelican at Blandings (No Nudes is Good Nudes)
  • 1970 The Girl in Blue
  • 1971 Much Obliged, Jeeves (Jeeves and the Tie That Binds)
  • 1972 Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin (The Plot That Thickened)
  • 1973 Bachelors Anonymous
  • 1974 Aunts Aren't Gentlemen (The Catnappers)
  • 1977 Sunset at Blandings (unfinished work, published posthumously with notes)
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, or Plum to his friends, was born on October 15th, 1881 in Guildford, Surrey. The son of Civil Servant he was educated at Dulwich College, London . He started his working life in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank before deciding to become a full time writer.

His writing career started at the London Globe in 1902 where he worked on a column entitled 'By the Way', whilst freelancing for several other publications. In 1909 he moved to the USA, and from then onwards he spent most of his time in either America or France. In 1940, whilst living in Le Touquet, the Second World War broke out. The town was soon captured, and Wodehouse and his wife, Ethel, were shipped off to a German internment camp.

Shortly before his 60th birthday, Wodehouse was released from the camp, as was normal for men of his age, but he was not allowed to leave Germany, so he and his wife stayed at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin. Whilst there he was persuaded by a German official to make a few broadcasts to his US fans on German radio. This shouldn't have been a problem as the US was not yet at war with Germany, and Wodehouse thought that it would be a good idea to let his fans know he was alright, and he made five broadcasts. These could in no way be construed as propaganda; they were merely a sort of memoir of his time in the internments camps and even poked some fun at the Nazis.

This series of broadcasts could be heard late at night in the UK, and someone working in the British War Office became incensed at what he saw as Wodehouse apparently "offering aid and comfort" to the enemy. This caused the Ministry to force the BBC into carrying a radio broadcast attacking him as a Nazi sympathiser and comparing him to Lord Haw-Haw. Soon many others had jumped on the bandwagon in deriding Wodehouse including his previous friend A.A. Milne. The only person who was seen to stick by his side was George Orwell who wrote his essay In Defense of P.G. Wodehouse..The MI5 files on this account were finally made public in 1980, and Wodehouse was cleared of all wrongdoing, but because of this incident, Wodehouse never returned to Britain, and after the war he stayed in the USA, where he gained citizenship in 1955.

PG Wodehouse produced around a hundred books, and was responsible for the creation a whole string of characters such as Bertie Wooster and his ever-resourceful butler Jeeves, the inhabitants of Blandings Castle, including the prize porker, The Empress of Blandings, as well as penning several plays and, along with Jerome Kern, wrote over 250 lyrics for the likes of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cole Porter.

In 1975 New Years Honours List, Wodehouse became a Knight of the British Empire (allowing him to attatch KBE to his name) and died on St Valentines day in the same year, at the age of 93.

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