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ian fleming casino royale sparknotes Jeeves Takes Charge Pelham Grenville Wodehouse 1919 P.
Wodehouse wrote dozens of stories and several novels detailing the comical misadventures of Bertie Wooster, a befuddled young Englishman, and his resourceful butler, Jeeves.
Bertie recounts how he came hire Jeeves in the story.
His particular brand of humor continues to amuse many people as the numerous fan clubs that are found on demonstrates.
Wodehouse was born on October 15, 1881, inwhere his father was stationed as a member of the British.
He was sent to England along with his older brothers for his schooling in 1884.
He attended Elizabeth College and Malvern House, a naval preparatory school.
At the age of 12, he began his most important educational experience at Dulwich College.
His six years at Dulwich were a major influence on his life and work.
His first payment for writing came during his last year there when one of his essays was published in the Public School Magazine.
Wodehouse knew early that he wanted to be a writer, but his father did not believe that writing was a sensible occupation.
He was forced to become a bank clerk at the London branch of the and Shanghai Bank.
However, he wrote during the evening and sold 80 stories and articles while he worked at the bank.
In 1904, he made the first of frequent visits to the and immediately fell in love with American culture.
On one of his visits, he met the widow who would become his wife, Ethel Newton Rowley.
They were married on September 30, 1914.
Wodehouse began writing lyrics for the musical stage in 1904.
In 1906, his first collaboration withThe Beauty of Bath, was produced for the Aldwych Theatre.
Kern introduced Wodehouse to Guy Bolton in 1906.
The three men worked together to revolutionize the musical comedy.
Wodehouse was a gifted lyricist with a breezy wit and he teamed with Bolton and Kern to write several hit plays, including Have a Heart 1917 and Oh, Lady!
One of their plays, Leave it to Jane 1917 had a successful revival Off-Broadway in the early 1970s.
However, he experienced greater success with his plays and his fiction.
The theater had a tremendous influence on his fiction; he once commented that his books were musical comedies without the music.
His stories were formulaic, but his formula allowed for a wide variety of situations and characters.
His tales of Mr.
Mulliner, Blandings Castle, and Jeeves and Wooster shared many of the same plot elements: silly young men seeking or avoiding marriage, mistaken identities, the purloining of some object by successive characters, etc.
Many of the characters cross over from one story or class casinos oklahoma to another, and the characters make frequent references to events that take place in other stories or novels.
He used metaphors, puns, slang, and literary references in his fiction to great effect.
In 1940, Wodehouse was captured by the Germans while living in France and spent much of the war interned in Berlin.
He unwisely made a series of radiobroadcasts sponsored by the Germans from Berlin to America in 1941.
Although the broadcasts subtly ridiculed the Germans, many right-wing publications in England branded him a traitor.
Writers such as and Evelyn Waugh, however, defended Wodehouse by pointing out that he was politically naive.
Wodehouse did not realize that the broadcasts were valuable propaganda for the Germans.
Wodehouse, who dearly loved England, was deeply wounded by the charges and ended up emigrating to thebecoming a citizen in 1955.
The scandal ultimately blew over, and Wodehouse, to his great satisfaction, was knighted shortly before his death in 1975.
The story takes place in England sometime between 1910 and 1920.
He is forced to return to London to hire a new valet.
Bertie is attempting to read a dull book given to him by his fiancee, Florence Craye, when Jeeves first arrives.
Bertie, who is nursing a hangover, is immediately impressed when Jeeves concocts a remedy for him.
Bertie senses that Jeeves does not approve of his engagement to Florence.
Bertie receives a telegram from Florence urgently requesting that he return to Easeby, where she is staying as a guest.
He orders Jeeves to pack, and discovers that Jeeves dislikes the suit he is wearing.
Upon arriving at Easeby, Bertie determines the nature of the emergency.
Her father is one of many respectable gentlemen who, she feels, will be scandalized if the book is published.
She proposes that Bertie pilfer the manuscript before it can be published.
Bertie, who is financially dependent on his Uncle Willoughby, is extremely reluctant.
Florence threatens to break off their engagement if Bertie does not steal the book.
Bertie, flustered, agrees to the wacky scheme.
As he leaves the room, he runs into Jeeves, who informs him that someone has used black polish on his brown shoes.
Sir Willoughby leaves the manuscript on a hall table for his butler, Oakshott, to take to the post office the next morning.
Bertie snatches the book up and returns to his room.
Bertie sends the boy off to trim some cigars and immediately locks the manuscript in a drawer.
Bertie is fearful of trying directions jumers casino destroy the manuscript while he is still at Easeby.
He determines that leaving it the drawer for the time being is the best solution.
Sir Willoughby is concerned because the publishers have not yet received his book.
Bertie attempts to pin the blame on his former butler, but his uncle points out that Meadowes was not present when he finished the manuscript.
Bertie becomes nervous and walks around the estate chain-smoking.
While passing the library window, he overhears a conversation between Edwin and his uncle.
Bertie dashes back to the room only to meet his Uncle Willoughby and Edwin.
The drawer where the book is hidden remains locked and Bertie, to his relief, cannot find the key.
The drawer is opened, but Bertie is surprised to see that the manuscript is no longer there.
After Edwin and Sir Willoughby leave the room, Bertie questions Jeeves and learns that the butler had overheard his conversation with Florence regarding the book.
Jeeves determined that it would be more prudent if he took possession of the parcel.
At that moment, his happy uncle appears to tell them that the manuscript has arrived at the publisher.
Florence, infuriated, breaks off their engagement.
Bertie angrily confronts Jeeves.
Jeeves tells Bertie that he thinks they overestimated the effect the book would have on the people in it.
Bertie fires Jeeves, and Jeeves takes the opportunity to tell him that he believes that Florence and Bertie are a mismatch.
Bertie orders him to leave the room.
After a nights sleep, Bertie begins to think about what Jeeves has said.
He attempts to read the book Florence gave him and realizes that Jeeves was right.
He rehires the butler and, in an effort to win his approval, he tells Jeeves to get rid of his checked suit.
Jeeves informs Bertie that he has already given the suit to the under-gardener.
Edwin convinces Sir Willoughby to pretend that Mr.
He is a mischievous tattletale who feigns innocence as he torments Bertie throughout the story.
He catches Bertie trying to hide the stolen book.
Bertie has grown up around her family.
She is shocked when Sir Willoughby reads her his memoirs, mainly because the book details the boisterous, drunken follies of her father, Lord Worplesdon, in his youth.
Ultimately, Jeeves sabotages her scheme as well as her engagement plans.
At the beginning of the story, Bertie proclaims that, unlike his friend Aubrey, he will not let his valet run his life.
The irony is that he does indeed end up like Aubrey when he lets Jeeves take charge.
Sir Stanley Gervase-Gervase Sir Stanley is another person Sir Willoughby gossips about in his book.
Jeeves Jeeves is the sly and droll butler of the title.
Jeeves is hired by Bertie Wooster after Bertie catches his old butler, Meadowes, stealing socks.
However, Jeeves is unafraid to show when he disapproves of Bertie—if not vocally, then in his tone and manner.
Bertie is at first suspicious and defiant, but Jeeves twice saves him in the story.
Bertie fires Jeeves when she cancels the engagement.
Bertie rehires Jeeves after some consideration.
He finally gives in to the same impulse that guides his friend Aubrey, allowing the butler to take charge and graciously disowning the suit that Jeeves has already given away.
Meadowes Meadowes is the thieving butler replaced by Jeeves.
He is fired when Bertie catches him stealing socks.
Sir Willoughby See Uncle Willoughby Uncle Willoughby Bertie Wooster is financially dependent on his uncle, Sir Willoughby.
Jeeves removes the book before Sir Willoughby can find it and sends it to the publisher.
The story is an introduction to his remarkable butler, Jeeves.
Bertie admits at the very beginning that he has become hopelessly dependent on his valet.
Jeeves displays his ingenuity soon after he arrives and saves Bertie from his fiancee Florence and her ridiculous schemes.
Bertie is seemingly oblivious to what Jeeves recognizes immediately: Florence is a shrew.
Bertie foolishly agrees to her plot, even though he knows that it could lead to financial ruin if he is caught.
Bertie is not only helpless against Florence; he is bedeviled by her sneaky younger brother, Edwin.
The boy leads Sir Willoughby to the scene of the crime, but Jeeves removes the evidence before they can find it.
Many episodes were broadcast in the United States on PBS as part of the Mobil Masterpiece Theatre series.
All of the episodes are available on videotape.
Bertie fires Jeeves, but after some thought, he realizes that Jeeves was right.
Bertie, although somewhat dim, is modest enough to admit his dependence upon Jeeves.
Lord Worplesdon Lord Worplesdon is the eccentric father of Florence and Edwin Craye.
Bertie notes that a few years after the events of the story, Lord Worplesdon leaves his family for France after one too many servings of eggs.
Discuss the similarities and differences in their styles and subjects.
Discuss the economy and society of the period.
Describe the fads and fashions of Edwardian England.
Once you are familiar with the various characters and plots, attempt to write a scene or story of your own using the characters of Wodehouse.
You could also attempt to create contemporary versions of the characters; use your imagination.
Perhaps her greatest offense is that she is in league with his horrid Aunt Agatha.
Jeeves, of course, always saves Bertie from the clutches of the wrong girl.
Jeeves has of course already disposed of the suit by giving it to the under-gardener.
Later stories find Bertie changing his behavior or appearance even once shaving off a mustache in order to gratify Jeeves in the same manner.
Social Class and Wealth Bertie Wooster is a young man who has never worked a day in his life.
This type of lifestyle, while it may seem unusual now, was common for young men in the in England during the Edwardian era.
Bertie is 24 years old, yet he has his own valet to serve him.
Because of his class, he is able to live frivolously on the wealth of others.
He spends much of his time drinking with his friends; in the opening of this story, as in many others, he is recovering from a hangover.
His life is a pursuit of pleasure.
This would definitely disrupt an ideal situation for Bertie.
Here, although it is obvious in most of his fiction that he looks favorably upon the wealthy, Wodehouse gently mocks the idea that the is without flaw.
For example, Lord Worplesdon although he never physically appears is an eccentric blowhard.
His daughter, Florence Craye, is a pushy, conceited snob.
Edwin Craye, supposedly a model young boy, is a sneaky and mischievous troublemaker.
Bertie, in a position of power because he is rich although it is through no effort of his ownis forced to recognize that Jeeves, his butler and therefore of a lower class, possesses a superior intellect.
Wodehouse uses a variety of devices to make Bertie an amusing narrator: slang, exaggeration and understatement, mixed metaphor, and literary refererence.
Bertie is a fool, but through his narration Wodehouse demonstrates that he is an endearing and likable fool because of his innate modesty and eagerness to please.
Plot Wodehouse is famous for the complex plotting of his stories.
Each of the characters are struggling for control of the manuscript and their efforts result in pandemonium.
Florence wants it destroyed because she is embarrassed by it.
Edwin wants Sir Willoughby to find it so that Bertie will be branded as a kleptomaniac.
Poor Sir Willoughby simply wants it published.
Finally, it is the clever Jeeves who finally wins possession of the book, thereby saving Bertie from both disinheritance and a disastrous marriage.
Setting The story is set in England sometime soon after the Edwardian period.
The action takes place at Easeby, the estate of Sir Willoughby.
These settings lend themselves to the type of farce that he writes.
Many rooms exist where characters can hide, and many windows where characters can spy or eavesdrop on each other.
For example, while standing outside the library window, Bertie overhears Edwin tell Sir Willoughby about the stolen manuscript.
This decade marked a remarkably quiet transition from the Nineteenth to the Twentieth Century.
Her 51-year-old son, Prince Charles, is Heir apparent.
Prince Charles has two sons, Prince William and Prince Henry, which virtually guarantees that the next person to take the throne will be the first male monarch in 50 years.
Thatcher, as well as being the first woman to become a PM, is also the first to win three consecutive general elections.
England was an industrial giant, and the stretched into Africa and Asia.
Certainly, England had problems, including terrible poverty in the wretched slums of the larger cities.
But the first decade of the Twentieth Century in England was an idyllic time, especially for the rich, in comparison to the tumult of the following decades.
Although his later stories sometimes made references to contemporary culture, his fiction always remained firmly rooted in the values of Edwardian England.
Women in Early 20th Century England Wodehouse, consciously or not, may have recognized the changing role of women in British society when he created the assertive though unlikable Florence Craye.
Throughout the Nineteenth Century, women in England had been fighting for political power and social reform.
It was soundly defeated.
The battle for suffrage intensified over the next decade; many women were imprisoned, and hunger strikes were common.
By the time Wodehouse was writing his first Jeeves and Wooster stories, Parliament was under an enormous amount of pressure to enact article source />In June, 1917, the voted 385-55 to grant women over the age of 30 the right to vote.
The lack of any reference to the war is almost astonishing; again, his characters are forever part of Edwardian England.
However, Wodehouse wisely knew that his strength was in writing light comedy.
Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and a chain of alliances were activated.
Germany and Turkey joined Austria-Hungary to become the.
France and Russia began to build up their armies, and Germany declared war on both countries.
Later in the war, Italy, the United States, and Japan would join the Allies against the Central Powers.
World War I marked the first time many modern weapons were used and the results were devastating.
Germany, France, Russia, and Great Britain lost almost an entire generation; 8.
The entry of the U.
Ultimately, the Central Powers were overwhelmed and they were forced to sign the Armistice on November 11, 1918.
His books were usually well-received, and Carry On, Jeeves was no exception.
An unidentified reviewer in the December 3, 1927 edition of the Saturday Review of Literature wrote: We frankly admit our fondness for all the Wodehouse comics, and our especial delight in Bertie and the peerless Jeeves.
Most reviews of the book were similar.
However, the Times was somewhat more reserved in its praise: Mr.
Many of the stories taken singly are nothing short of delightful.
But one cannot avoid the feeling that an entire book of Wodehouse stories is an overabundance.
No doubt a recognizable and somewhat repetitious formula earmarks the Jeeves and Wooster stories.
Bertie is initially hesitant to part with the suit, but eventually he gives in to Jeeves.
This situation is repeated, with slight variances, in almost all the Jeeves and Wooster stories.
Another frequent plot device is the presence of pesky aunts and uncles.
Thus, some critics found his writing tedious.
Familiarity did not, however, breed contempt with the general public.
Early in his career, Wodehouse was not granted the same click at this page of critical attention reserved for more serious writers of fiction.
In the 1958 edition of New World Writing, John W.
In an introductory essay written for P.
Wodehouse: A Comprehensive Bibliography and Checklist 1990Anthony Quinton continues in the same vein.
Pickwick and Sam Weller, and Phineas Fogg and Passepartout.
Several biographies of Wodehouse have been published in the last three decades as well.
Although Wodehouse wrote light comedy, a great deal of respect is held for his brilliant use of language and his well-crafted stories.
Don Akers Akers is a free-lance writer whose work has appeared in college journals and educational publications.
In the following essay, Akers discusses the influence of P.
Wodehouse first introduced the characters of Bertie Wooster, the young, rich, and endearing English nitwit, and Jeeves, his cool and ingenious butler.
However, the 1990s Jeeves and Wooster television series benefited from faithfulness to the original stories, sharp writing, and brilliant characterizations by Stephen Fry Jeeves and Hugh Laurie Wooster.
All efforts, including his own, to up-date his work must end in failure: his characters, even when they strike out with brave allusions to and Gatsby, betray in their every gesture, action, and assumption their helpless allegiance to the past.
Grumpier critics, such as the solemn Edmund Morris, found this type of fiction superficial and tedious.
But as Aldridge explains in his essay, Wodehouse was simply a product of his era.
Thus, the Jeeves and Wooster television series is an almost perfect situation comedy.
Wodehouse had great early success writing lyrics for the musical theater.
His collaborations with and Guy Bolton revolutionized American musical comedy.
Today, the plots of these plays resemble those of television situation comedy.
He later commented that his fiction was musical comedy without the music.
He created two vibrant characters in Jeeves and Wooster and placed them in absurd situations in dozens of stories and novels.
casino number buffet 66 route of the best is Code of the Woosters.
Dickens wrote several masterful novels concerning life in England during the 19th century.
One of the best is Oliver Twist first serialized 1837-39.
It is the story of an orphan taken in by a gang of pickpockets on the streets of London.
The novel is the story of Charles Ryder, a middle-class man obsessed with a wealthy, dysfunctional family in the years leading to.
The 1990s television adaptation of his stories, Jeeves and Wooster, is only the most obvious evidence of the influence of his fiction on the popular media of the late twentieth century.
There are several other examples.
The ten stories in the 1957 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves average 21.
Even the slowest of readers should be able to finish one of these stories within 30 minutes including a break for the privy, of course.
Perhaps Wodehouse was unable to leave the comfort of Edwardian England himself, but his formula was perfect for the half-hour television comedies of the last half-century.
The characters themselves, of course, may be as absurd as the situations.
This is not to say that these plot elements originated with Wodehouse; he claimed to read the entire works of Shakespeare every year, and Dickens was a great influence on him.
It was his style that was original continue reading, despite the anachronisms in some of his work, somewhat ahead of its time.
There are many examples, but two stand out especially over the last 20 years.
The 1981 film Arthur, written and directed by Steve Gordon, featured Dudley Moore as the title character, a ridiculously rich, drunken playboy.
Moore was nominated for an Oscar for best actor in 1982.
In fact, Gielgud won the Academy Award that year for best supporting actor in the film.
The story itself is a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1930s.
At the end of the story, Bertie is reluctant to give up the suit, even though he knows he must because Jeeves has saved him from disaster.
They often show disgust with their employers, but still they act as caring, parental figures.
Jeeves fixes Bertie a special drink for his hangover; Hobson bathes Arthur.
Hobson would probably not exist without Jeeves.
Neither would the character of Benson.
Robert Guillame won a supporting actor Emmy playing the role of the caustic butler on the situation comedy series, Soap.
He later won a best actor playing the same role in the spin-off series, Benson.
Soap premiered on ABC in 1977.
It was a controversial at the time satire of soap operas.
The program, in the early years, had excellent satirical writing, and some of the best performers, on television.
Several performers on the show, including Guillame andwent on to even greater success.
Benson, like Jeeves, is sarcastic; however, he is not quite as subtle.
Benson, despite his acid tongue, is extremely protective of several almost innocent characters on the show, much in the same way that Jeeves is protective of Bertie.
Yet they still do everything in their power to protect them.
Regardless of the era, Wodehouse was a master of theand his sparkling wit has aged well.
Source: Don Akers, for Short Stories forStudents, Gale, 2000.
Love In this essay Love compares the similarities of the characters of P.
Sayers, and Ian Fleming, and argues that there exists literary continuity from Wodehouse to Sayers to Fleming.
In writing this essay which started out to be a study of Lord Peter WimseyI was struck by the parallels between the novels of Dorothy L.
Sayers and those of two other—hugely popular—British writers: P.
Wodehouse and Ian Fleming.
The more deeply I looked into it, the more interested I became.
As a result, I will try to show that Sayers is a centerpiece joining the other two.
Wodehouse, Sayers, and Fleming were three of the more popular novelists to come out of Britain in the twentieth century.
All three continue to be read widely throughout the English-speaking world.
In addition, the BBC productions of the Lord Peter stories have been seen by millions; and every year or so Hollywood brings out another James Bond movie.
I believe these writers have more in common than simply their popularity and nationality.
Jeeves to Wimsey to Bond, if you will.
First, Jeeves to Lord Peter.
No less a Sayers authority than James Sandoe takes it for granted.
Cross between Ralph Lynn and Bertie Wooster.
Wodehouse and filching biscuits from a large tin.
But Wodehouse achieved more than mere mention.
He clearly left his mark on Sayers.
I suspect he leaves his mark on everyone who reads him.
In researching this essay I discovered, to my surprise, clear evidence of dependency on Wodehouse in my own books—despite a thirty-year gap between the last time I read him and the beginning of my writing career.
I find it so.
He was giving a perfect imitation of the silly-ass-about-town.
One never failed to find Wimsey of Balliol planted in the centre of the quad and laying down the law with exquisite insolence to somebody.
Wooster and Wimsey are both bachelors.
Both are hard-drinking, fast-talking party animals with a penchant for finding and losing pretty women.
Both have faithful, ingenious butlers.
Both, finally, are upper-class, with an unquestioned, albeit unspoken, loyalty to the class system.
But Wimsey moves far beyond Wooster, as the leading character in a series of crime novels should, as opposed to the centerpiece in a set of humorous entertainments.
Lord Peter is venturesome, daring, and self-reliant: qualities totally alien to Bertie.
The place is alive with swans.
He may pursue one course, or he may pursue another.
But on one thing you can rely with the utmost confidence—Jeeves will find a way.
There are, of course, striking differences as well.
Lord Peter is a master of Bunter, his butler and Jeeves a servant.
Nonetheless, I maintain, the difference between the characters is far less than the difference between the genres of their stories.
Like Jeeves, Lord Peter is omniscient, omnipotent, and always right.
Not that Bond is either aristocratic or rich.
He, first of all, is far from rich— Moonraker lists his salary as 1,500 pounds a year taxable, plus 1,000 pounds a year in tax-free income.
But like Jeeves Bond enjoys elaborate perks, including travel to exotic locales and stopovers at luxury hotels.
Furthermore, he never seems to lack for money with which to gamble, occasionally at very high stakes.
Observe him on an outing at M.
Bond, the commoner, has the upper-class tastes his boss lacks.
And though he technically takes his orders from M.
Is some of Lord Wimsey in James Bond?
Faint laughter-lines at the corner of the eye and droop click at this page lid at its outer end.
Gleam of gold down on the cheekbone.
Wide spring of the nostril.
Ironically, the best of these descriptions is in The Man with the Golden Gun, in a passage that describes not Bond but the assassin Scaramanga—who looks enough like Bond to be able to impersonate him successfully: Age about 35.
Hair reddish in a crew cut.
Gaunt, sombre face with thick pencil moustache, brownish.
Ears very flat to the head.
Hands very large and powerful and immaculately manicured.
Wodehouse, by contrast, is extremely sparing in his descriptions.
In the Sayers story, a parasite named Paul Melville has stolen a diamond necklace from Mrs.
She is unable to bring charges because along with casino craps fish big diamonds he also stole a small portrait with a highly compromising inscription.
Melville likes to play poker.
Lord Peter, knowing of Mrs.
Melville protests his innocence—correctly if vainly—because by adroit sleight of hand Lord Peter had planted the incriminating card on him.
Having forced the thief into a corner, Wimsey offers him a way out: if he will return the necklace to its rightful owner he will be allowed to slink away.
This idea of cheating a cheater was used by Ian Fleming more than once, first in Moonraker.
The initial premise of this book published in 1955 is that a capable of reaching any capital in Europe has been developed.
The missile is being financed privately by the fabulously wealthy Sir Hugo Drax.
For his own good as well as for the defense of the realm, Sir Hugo must be stopped.
James Bond, of course, is just the man to catch Sir Hugo out.
Bond is a trained cardsharp: he has learned to handle such tricks as how to drop cards from his sleeve—shades of Lord Peter!
In Goldfinger, the book that constitutes the strongest proof for my contention that Ian Fleming drew inspiration from the works of Dorothy L.
Sayers, Bond check this out Auric Goldfinger, money launderer for the evil SMERSH organization.
At their first meeting, Goldfinger is cheating at a canasta game at a Caribbean resort: he has positioned a woman in a hotel room just click for source his opponent to observe his hand through binoculars.
But this byplay between Bond and Goldfinger— so reminiscent of that between Wimsey and Melville—is only the beginning.
Loder, who lived there with his favorite model, Maria Morano.
Following a period during which Loder and his model were secluded ostensibly for artistic workLoder showed Varden a cast-silver Roman couch in the shape of a nude woman.
Shortly thereafter, while Loder was away, Lord Peter came on the scene and pointed out to Varden that the nude was the silvered body of the model.
Loder had silver-plated her as punishment for an affair he imagined her to have carried on with Varden, for whom Loder had planned a similar fate.
Goldfinger has a kinky taste for making love to women coated in gold paint.
He leaves unpainted only a strip along their spines, to allow their skins to breathe.
Conclusion: Wodehouse influenced Sayers; Say-ers influenced Fleming.
Jeeves to Wimsey to Bond.
What drove these three popular authors to write?
Similarities can be found.
As to Wodehouse, reading between the lines of his biographies, we see the lonely child, Plum, passed from boarding school to distant relative, happy only in an imaginary world of comfort and security.
These two authors created their own worlds: Wodehouse, a world of comfort and security; Fleming, one of danger and intrigue.
When we ponder Dorothy L.
Her project, indeed, seems to be encoded in the very name of her hero.
Or is it pure perversity?
A number of critics believe that Sayers, whether knowingly or not, created Lord Peter Wimsey as her beau ideal: the ideal man she could never find in real life.
Finally, how does Sayers rank as a writer against these other two giants of?
I concede she cannot be put in their class when it comes to name recognition of their major characters.
But popularity is not synonymous with quality; and it is with the quality of the writing I am here concerned.
Comparing Sayers with Wodehouse is extremely difficult, since their genres are so different.
Wodehouse, it must be said, was a master stylist.
Making allowance for the firm and constant placement of his tongue within his cheek, his dialogue and descriptive passages rank high among the masters of the language.
If readers are unfamiliar with him, I respectfully suggest they reread the brief passage of dialogue quoted earlier in this paper.
The reader whose is not tickled by that passage is not the Wodehouse type.
In my opinion, Sayers is the finer writer of the two, but I can respect those of the opposite persuasion.
He was a boxer, not a chess player.
His is frequently faulty.
Had his career been delayed a few years he might have been spared howlers like these.
He ordered another double and with it a choucroute and a carafe of Fondant.
I presume Bond meant to order a cassecroute, or snack usually some variation on a grilled ham—and—cheese sandwich.
Arithmetic is another chink in the Fleming armor.
Consider the incident wherein Leiter complains of receiving short measure from a bartender in his martini.
Cut the gin with three ounces of water and that makes it up to twenty—two.
Leiter had shorted himself long before any bartenders had the opportunity to do so.
Double agents Fuchs, Burgess, Philby, Blunt, and Maclean had compromised MI5 Military Intelligence 5 and even the palace Anthony Blunt was art historian to the queen.
Worse yet, George Blake, imprisoned for fingering forty—two British agents assassinated by the KGB, managed a daring escape from Wormwood Scrubs and was in Moscow almost before his guards knew he was gone.
The British public, frustrated and angered by such blunders and incompetence, needed a distraction.
Enter the superhero: ever—competent, never—blundering James Bond.
The Christine Keeler affair is a case in point.
His purpose was not to analyze or criticize events but to make them larger than life.
Keeler, only nineteen at the time of the Profumo affair, went to prison for two years on rather dubious charges, and lives today in public housing.
For James Bond also, beautiful women are expendable, but their ruin is accomplished spectacularly: they are gilded, zapped, shot, stabbed, or exploded; not railroaded—and always in the vital interests of the realm, never for such tawdry, real—life motives as selling newspapers or winning an election.
No better example could be ian fleming casino royale sparknotes than the extensive and careful study that went into the descriptions of the ancient art of change ringing in The Nine Tailors.
This novel has received much praise— some of it from experts in the field—for the accuracy and thoroughness of those descriptions.
Next, I would also call attention to the meticulously plotted and, within the context of the plot, important time sequences in Red Herrings.
One cannot read that book without being struck by the care with which Ms.
Sayers handles those sequences.
As to her overall abilities as a prose stylist, we should start with a concession.
She was capable of self—indulgence.
Witness the extreme length of Have His Carcase, which Sayers can fairly be accused of padding.
The following monologue from The Nine Tailors is evidence of an ear finely attuned to the nuances of local dialect.
The speaker is the gravedigger Harry Gotobed telling how he and his son came upon a corpse in a grave where it had no business being.
So we clears away very careful, and at last we sees him plain.
Wimsey looked at this grouping with an indulgent smile, and placed the next six balls consistently and successfully to leg.
When, in despair, they drew a close net of fielders all round him, he drove everything that was drivable straight down the pitch.
Sayers: The Centenary Celebration, edited by Alzina Stone Dale, Walker, 1993, pp.
In the following essay, Spath argues that Jeeves represents one of the best examples of the superman in popular literature.
There can hardly be any doubt that the most intriguing character created by P.
Wodehouse is that of butler Jeeves, even though, as the clever servant who, episode after episode, proves superior more info his master, he is anything but original.
From the viewpoint of literary history he is indeed of as ancient a family as that hopelessly inefficient rich young man whom he serves.
The extraordinary fascination Jeeves has held for a vast number of readers invites some investigation of how his author made use of one of the stock figures of comedy.
But, as we hope to demonstrate, Jeeves is not only the traditional sly servant; he is also one of the supermen of popular literature, who may be considered in relation, for instance, the hero of the detective novel— a genre which gained the peak of its popularity at about the same time as Wodehouse.
Furthermore, there is the well—known fact that in the early twentieth century interest in the superman was expressed by several English writers of recognized literary importance, notably by Shaw and Lawrence.
The corresponding developments of political history hardly need mentioning here.
It seems worthwhile then to analyse the function of Jeeves in this context.
Wodehouse when he created Jeeves, and thus escaped from the realm of comedy, which in England always stinks of virtue, into the realm of pure farce.
At first this may seem a little surprising since, superficially, Jeeves appears to be as genuinely Victorian as any average middle—class reader might have wished, especially when we compare him to the traditional servant of comedy whose morals are notoriously low.
Jeeves knows neither financial greed nor sexual desires; it is, in fact, impossible to think of him as having erotic inclinations.
He does like to collect any pecuniary rewards that may come his way, but what he enjoys in such cases is the success of his stratagems rather than the material gains.
He would never do anything improper; his language is as immaculate as his manners or his appearance.
What strikes us about Jeeves is that he is not essentially interested in either doing good or doing well.
However, this sole ethical rule of loyalty to his master is interpreted by him as he thinks fit, not as the latter might wish.
The point about him is that he does not need it.
He does not labour for success; it comes to him as the result of artistic endeavour.
However obstinately the young gentleman may behave at first, Jeeves inevitably gets his way when there are dissenting opinions about ties and suits.
These are grave defects.
But one thing I have never failed to hand the man.
There is about him something that seems to soothe and hypnotize.
To the best of my knowledge, he has never encountered a charging rhinoceros, but should this contingency occur, I have no doubt that the animal, meeting his eye, would check itself in mid—stride, roll over and lie purring with its legs in the air.
But some of his achievements are so impressive that not only the feeble—minded Bertram is inclined to credit him with superhuman abilities.
He moves noiselessly, and Bertram even believes that he can walk through walls.
This means that he uses his giant brain to no other effect than to steer a not too bright young man gently past the pitfalls, which threaten a life devoted to innocent pleasure.
It also explains that he has high standards of taste, which he autocratically imposes on his employer.
Turning our attention to Bertram Wooster we recognize some features of the dandy in him, but they are less prominent than he himself would have liked.
The general impression is one of an overgrown schoolboy with plenty of pocket money.
He likes drinking in his club, where he and his pals have a great time throwing bread at each other.
He is very happy playing with a toy duck in his bath.
Unfortunately, he is repeatedly torn from such joys and called upon to undergo testing adventures.
One of his friends observes aptly: We are as little children, frightened of the dark, and Jeeves is the wise nurse who takes us by the hand.
Happily, Jeeves is not only a wise nurse, but a male one, or else his proteges would be very unwilling to put so much trust in him.
Old Pop Kipling never said a truer word than when he made that crack about the f.
Bertram is particularly terrified of aunts, as he sees in them a highly repressive type of authority.
Wodehouse who, by the way, was brought up mostly in boarding schools and by relatives, very rarely shows us parent—child relationships, and if he does, they are of a rather detached nature.
The role of mothers in his books is an especially small one, while aunts are in abundance, and where there are aunts, there is trouble.
Invariably they tyrannize their nephews, husbands or brothers.
They begrudge them their favourite pleasures and seek to diminish their liberty; they want them to put on proper clothes and to be a social success; they make it their constant concern to prevent unsuitable matches and to bring about desirable ones; they are snobbish and parsimonious.
Aunts have morals, of course, but these are such as to suit entirely their own inclinations while interfering grossly with the wishes of others.
There is very little a Wooster—aunt would not do in pursuit of what she considers her right or duty.
Young women make no less trouble for Bertram than aunts.
According to the different dangers they represent, they can be divided into two types, both of which we find in The Code of the Woosters.
There is Madeline, a dreamy, sentimental girl, who reveals to Bertram on more than one occasion that he is in love with her and that she will accept him.
This poses a paralyzing problem for the young hero, as his code of honour forbids him to tell a lady that he would do anything rather than marry her.
In the absurd Wodehouse world it is not at all surprising that both gentlemen are also potential fathers—in—law for Bertram, since their daughters are determined to marry him.
In the presence of persons like Sir Watkyn he is reminded of childhood fears, such as he experienced before punishment by his headmaster: I was feeling more as I had felt in the old days of school when going to keep a tryst with the headmaster in his study.
You will recall my telling you of the time I sneaked down by night to the Rev.
On that occasion, before parting, we had made a date for half—past four next day at the same spot.
We are now able to take stock of the problems, fears and enemies besetting our young gentleman.
At one level he is the child afraid of grown—ups, of their power and authority; he is the weak boy afraid of those who are stronger.
At a second level he is an adolescent male afraid of the other sex.
Girls frighten him because they do not behave according to the rules that he himself accepts; so they appear to be unpredictable, unscrupulous, and dangerous: I stared at the young pill, appalled at her moral code, if you could call it that.
You know, the more I see of women, the more I think there ought to be a law.
Something has got to be done about this sex, or the whole fabric of Society will collapse, and then what silly asses we shall all look.
Furthermore, Bertram has learnt that girls imply the threat of married life.
Presumably he was once told that women wait for men to ask the relevant question, but he has found that ladies who decide to make him their husband take immediate steps to that effect, caring little whether and how he has made up his mind.
The culmination of all threats is an aunt, since she combines semi—parental authority with female unscrupulousness.
All in all, the enemy side stands—capricious girls excepted—for an orderly middle—class way of life which includes marriage, money, and a career.
Judged by this standard, Bertram is bound to receive a very poor rating, as he does, for instance, from Aunt Agatha: It is young men like you, Bertie, who make the person with the future of the race at heart despair.
Cursed with too much money, you fritter away in idle selfishness a life which might have been made useful, helpful and profitable.
You do nothing but waste your time on frivolous pleasures.
You are simply an antisocial animal, a drone.
Bertie, it is imperative that you marry.
Marriage, it appears, is the first social obligation of man, and the sole road to a tolerably virtuous life.
The naughty nephew, on the other hand, tenaciously clings to his freedom to live a playful life of leisure.
This liberty is vaguely associated with the upper classes, to which he belongs in some unspecified way.
He does feel responsible for his pals, who seem to have an unlimited claim to his assistance, and for any lady who can make a credible pretence of being in distress.
Bertram might be called a strictly innocent playboy.
Life, for him, is a game, interspersed with occasional test matches, which, with his blend of boy—scout and knight—errant mentality he would not have the slightest chance of winning—were it not for Jeeves.
In The Code of the Woosters the invincible butler is involved in a fight against Roderick Spode, who as a pseudo—superman, could ian fleming casino royale sparknotes regarded as his direct antitype.
The latter, equipped with what to him is a completely mysterious weapon, confidently confronts the enemy, only to find that he has forgotten the magic word.
The way you were looking at me at dinner.
I spoke without thinking.
Well, that is all.
It would be wrong, however, to emphasize the importance of such direct references to contemporary political affairs in the novels of P.
Basically Spode is just one type of evil person in Wooster—land.
Fiction and reality, despite their apparent disparity, are shown to be related to each other, as indeed they always are, even though in popular literature such relatedness is normally of a less obvious kind.
The character of Spode, when contrasted to Jeeves, points to the fact that the latter may be seen in connection with the question of leadership, which at that time was widely discussed in politics and literature.
Collaboration between Wooster and his butler began in 1917, from which time until 1941, the year of his ill—advised Berlin broadcast, the popularity of Wodehouse grew continuously.
There is no need to decribe at any length the social and political problems that marked Britain in those decades.
Certainly the threat of another war, the struggles for power, and the hunt for jobs and money led to an acute consciousness of change—of change for the worse.
Thomson writes: It seems likely that public life at all levels suffered a deterioration of standards, and a decline of taste.
In this context the author also describes the changing role of women in society: The emancipation of women took a multitude of forms: from lighter clothing and shorter hair and skirts to more open indulgence in drink, tobacco, and cosmetics, from insistence on smaller families to easier facilities for divorce.
If we set against this the essentially Victorian views on women of Bertram Wooster, we can perhaps understand that he was frightened, that he feared the collapse of society and called for anti—feminine legislation, whereas, in real life, women were about to be granted equal suffrage.
In the United States depression and unemployment signalled the end of the American Dream.
There, at least, the usefulness of the inherited constitution was never seriously questioned, while in Europe, not excluding Britain, the capacity of democracy for dealing with the problems that had arisen was doubted by a considerable number of people, some of whom expressed the wish for a kind of political superman.
Take our life and our death in your hands, and dispose of us according to your will.
Because we see a light in your face, and burning on your mouth.
Therefore progress must remain an illusion, until it is given a biological basis: The only fundamental and possible Socialism is the socialization of the selective breeding of Man: in other terms, of.
We must eliminate the Yahoo, or his vote will wreck the commonwealth.
Man, according to Shaw, must consciously develop himself into superman.
Lawrence, on the other hand, left no such loop—hole to his readers, and, consequently, was received with considerable hostility.
And if we look for a superman in what was popular fiction at the time, in the detective novel for instance, we do not find heroes whom we might give such a title without unduly stretching the meaning of the word.
In both the works by Shaw and Lawrence from which the above quotations were taken there is also a typical gentleman who fails to achieve his main object, because he is a gentleman.
Octavius, in Man and Superman, is a sincere, chivalrous and kind man, deeply in love with Ann, who drops him for the radical revolutionist Tanner.
Shaw and Lawrence, though for different reasons, attack both the ideal of a gentleman and the Victorian idea of a lady.
And like some of the young women there, Ann is, where men are concerned, the hunter, not the prey.
So, while there is in early twentieth—century English literature a tendency to be critical of traditional standards of behaviour as regards the two sexes, as well as of the liberal belief in progress and democracy, the detective novel, on the other hand, affirms the validity of pre—War concepts ofjustice, morals, and manners; it presents as hero a perfect gentleman in a milieu essentially unaffected by historical change.
At a superficial glance, the fictional world of P.
However, strange as it may seem, his novels, quite unlike other popular fiction of the period between the Wars, reflect current issues in a remarkable degree.
In this, and also in the psychology on which their characterization is based, they are closer to what is generally regarded as the mainstream of English fiction of that time.
There, for instance, the influence of childhood traumata on later life is frequently pointed out and analysed.
Such inhibitions are closely connected with his imagining women to be both mentally and physically stronger than he is.
So he suspects that Honoria Glossop, while she was educated ian fleming casino royale sparknotes Girton, was a selection for the college boxing team.
In fact, the quest for money and the anguish caused by the lack of it, are recurrent motifs in his works.
Wooster, it is true, lives on a secure financial basis, but several of his friends are hampered by an acute shortage of cash needed either to open a small business and get married, or, just as likely, for some utterly absurd project.
Even members of wealthy aristocratic families, like the relatives of the Earl of Emsworth are sometimes forced to resort to the meanest schemes to balance their budgets.
These problems, admittedly, always affect individuals, not society as a whole.
However, the stately homes of these novels seem to be pervaded by a veiled threat of change, and, at times, people have to be reminded not to forget their station, be they footmen, or secretaries, or upstart millionaires.
One of the earlier Wodehouse heroes, the impecunious R.
The one extremist politician of any importance in a Wodehouse novel is the Fascist Spode, who, much like his counterparts of the opposite persuasion, is a violent casino carnival reviews basically insincere person, without either taste or manners.
It is because of their crudeness, mainly, that these enemies of democracy are felt to be even more disagreeable than the bourgeois aunts.
Obviously, some of the topics which aroused general interest between the Wars found their way into this fictional world, which otherwise reminds us so much of Edwardian England.
Left to himself, he would be doomed to fail, not only through lack of strength and intelligence, but because, in order to succeed, he would have to be untrue to his code.
Clearly, he needs someone able to combine in an aesthetically satisfactory way the demands of modern life with the ideals of the past.
What is needed, this appears to be the message of P.
Wodehouse, is a butler, not a Hitler.
Butlers seem to have been a specifically English upper class institution, highly esteemed as distinguished members of the household staff.
They were assigned to the master of the house rather than to the lady and were, for instance, in charge of the wine cellar and responsible for the plate.
They would be able to advise their masters on questions of etiquette or clothes, but would never attempt to be on familiar or intimate terms with them.
They would have to be tactful, discreet, and, above all, loyal.
This, at a time when Europe was seething with social turmoil, must have made the butler a figure of some literary potential.
Was not there a type of character whom one could well imagine turning into a working class hero and strip the idle rich of their wealth and power?
Is it credible that this superman should not attempt to become ruler of him who has enlisted his help, since it is in the nature of a superman to dictate?
Is it not inevitable that he should dictate in order to help?
In 1902 a stage butler, created by James Matthew Barrie, actually deposed his aristocratic employers.
After their return to civilization the previous hierarchy is restored.
Thus, in an unobtrusive way, the question of the potential political ambition of a superman is raised.
However, Jeeves is too complete a butler to wish to be anything else.
Loyalty is essential to his character, rebellion outside the scope of his existence.
Furthermore, his mental superiority makes it unnecessary for him to seek a position of dominance.
His ultimate perfection consists in the fact that he does not have to become a dictator.
The relationship between Jeeves and Bertram, therefore, is beautifully balanced, neither of them wishing to alter it.
One might even consider it to be an exemplary case of co—operation for their mutual benefit between capital and brains, rendering superfluous every social dispute.
The butler leads without dominating, while the master is led and, yet, retains his status.
So, when the novels of P.
Psychologically, this was probably a more satisfactory way of dealing with this question in literature than the provocative attempts of Shaw and Lawrence or the conservative approach of the detective novel.
Jeeves, indeed, gave satisfaction!
It seems appropriate that, when in 1939 Oxford conferred upon him the honorary degree of D.
Voorhees In the following essay, Voorhees recounts the long and successful career of Wodehouse and his most popular creations, the characters of Jeeves and Bertie.
The cynical and witty W.
Somerset Maugham once remarked that to be a grand old man of letters it was necessary to do two things: write a great many books and live a very long life.
Wodehouse 1881—1975 was a grand old man of English letters, for he published about a hundred books and lived to be nearly ninety—four.
The fact is that Wodehouse was obviously one of the masters of English comedy when he was still in his thirties.
Beside Wodehouse, many British and American comic writers who flourished between World War I and now look like figures in a museum or an old scrap book.
They did what only said he did: they put their talents into their writing and their genius, such as it was, into their lives.
Coward did most of his acting on the stage, but they did most of theirs off it.
Wodehouse was not an unclubbable man, but his idea of a writer was a man who sat at his desk and wrote.
Wodehouse did not begin as a comic novelist.
All of the earlier work, however, was in one way or another a preparation for the pure comedy which is his contribution to English literature.
This includes not only the great Blandings Castle and the Bertie and Jeeves cycles but also several other series and cycles.
Mulliner, still another a cast of mad golfers.
By the chart bound into his book The Comic Style of P.
It is remarkable that Wodehouse, having reached a rare height of comedy so soon, kept the height for such a long while.
Something Fresh American title, Something Newhis first comic country—house novel, was published in 1915.
Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit American title, Bertie Wooster Sees It Through appeared in 1954, and Wodehouse professed to write its dedication from Colney Hatch he was always willing to make jokes about himselfbut it is one of his very best books.
Wodehouse created a fictional world as authentic in its way as that of Trollope or Balzac or Faulkner.
To read his novels and short stories is to encounter again and again old acquaintances and familiar places: Bingo Little and the Drones Club, Aunt Dahlia and Market Snodsbury, Lord Emsworth and Blandings Castle, Bertie Wooster and Berkeley Mansions.
Life is pastoral even in the centre of London: there are no whores in Piccadilly Circus, no rakes in the clubs of the West End, no adulterers in Mayfair.
On the contrary, one of his distinctions is to have made anachronism a fine art.
Wodehouse makes little attempt to keep up with the world.
On the contrary, one of his distinctions is to have made anachronism a fine art.
He was born early enough to have spent his first twenty years in the Victorian Age, and he had published a dozen books before the death of Edward VII.
Not only the prevailing atmosphere but also various details of all the novels and short stories that followed are those of Victorian and Edwardian times.
The books also abound in anachronisms from less remote periods.
A great joke, not in the novels but begotten by them, is that in World War II the Germans, taking Wodehouse literally, parachuted into the Fen Country an agent who was instantly apprehended because he was wearing spats.
They are placed once and for all at some point of youth or age, like figures in a or gods on Olympusand forever tied to special pursuits.
Bertie Wooster toddles off to the Drones Club or tools down to the country to be caught up in some comic imbroglio.
The impossible Ukridge incessantly contrives schemes for getting rich quickly, every one of which falls flat.
Golfers go round and round golf courses without end.
Of all the works of Wodehouse, those about Bertie and his extraordinary valet Jeeves are the best.
To begin with, they have the best characters.
Bertie and Jeeves were as happy an invention for Wodehouse as and Doctor Watson were forand Wodehouse did what Doyle could not or did not trouble to do: he surrounded his main characters with platoons of well developed subordinate ones.
The young men constitute a marvelous muster roll of eccentrics and nitwits.
Bingo Little, after a fatheaded bachelorhood, marries the sentimental novelist Rosie M.
Roberta Wickham is discontented if she is not forcing Bertie into some lunatic enterprise.
Florence Craye is determined to make him stop smoking and drinking and start reading serious books.
Madeline Bassett believes that the morning mists on the meadows are the bridal veils of the elves.
Worse, she believes that Bertie loves her.
One of his recurrent fears is that, labouring under this delusion, she will insist on marrying him.
Aunt Agatha, the one who, Bertie says, eats broken glass and turns into a werewolf at the full moon, is an older Florence Craye.
One of my husbands gave it to me, I never can remember which.
He is a great white hunter who lives by a strict code, loves the Empire, fears nothing, masters numerous African dialects.
Having become engaged to Mrs.
Spottsworth, he hums a Swahili wedding march.
The explorer Plank is a variation on the same type, not a modest fellow like Biggar, but a blusterer.
Wodehouse can be as frugal as he is prodigal, and a few characters are so many interchangeable parts.
Madeline Bassett appears in The Mating Season 1949 and Phyllis Mills in Jeeves in the Offing 1960but it would scarcely matter if they changed places.
Stephanie Byng is not much more than an alias for Roberta Wickham, and Harold Pinker is Reginald Herring again with one difference: on the football field, Pinker is a marvel of dexterity, but he cannot cross a room without overturning furniture.
There is nobody like Bertie.
Wodehouse developed him in some of the early stories and then deliberately fixed his character when he discovered that he was on to a good thing.
He now concentrates on thrillers, racing papers, and detective stories, on which he considers himself an expert.
He dislikes people who write serious books.
A very vicious speciment.
She wrote a book on social conditions in India when she came back from the Durbar.
Evelyn Waugh made jokes about it in two of his novels, and Norman Douglas wrote an indignant reply to it called How About Europe?
Indeed, he is, whenever he is allowed to be, as languid as any fop who ever wore a wig in a Restoration comedy.
Without Jeeves, he could not get through the routine of an ordinary day, much less get out of the into which he is repeatedly thrust.
Each time Jeeves extricates him, Bertie must pay, usually by surrendering a piece of wearing apparel of which Jeeves disapproves: an unorthodox dinner jacket, a cummerbund, a blue Alpine hat with a pink feather.
The food crank Laura Pike shocks him by talking clinically about the organs of digestion, and he dislikes The Palace of Beauty at the Exposition at Wembley, where girls portray famous women through the ages.
Moreover, it gave me a rum feeling of having wandered into the wrong link of a country house.
In one he is the total loss that Aunt Agatha thinks him, but in the other he is the hero of high adventure.
It was so in the matter of this banjolele—playing of mine.
The vast differences between Bertie and Jeeves do not include one of age.
There is merely a vague impression to the contrary, fortified by a few book jackets.
Some picture Jeeves as a haughty major—domo, others casino on 51st ave phoenix a kindly elder statesman.
Bertie says that Jeeves is tall and slender and dark, and there is no more reason for Jeeves to be much older than Bertie than for Crichton to be much older than Lord Loam.
Still it is easy to understand why, for many readers, Jeeves should appear to be at least twice the age of Bertie.
In the first place, he knows more and thinks better.
Whereas Bertie is addicted to detective stories, Jeeves is devoted to Spinoza somewhere Bertie says that Jeeves has probably got to the point in Spinoza where one discovers that the butler did it.
He knows the technical term for the Roman gladiator who fought with net and trident retiarius and the exact distance between London and Harrogate two hundred and six miles.
He has a strong strain of the gamester in him and bets as readily on the sack race at a village sports as he does on the horses at Ascot or the roulette wheels at.
Furthermore, he is capable of great physical violence, at least twice knocking people out, once with a putter and once with a cosh.
The long association of Bertie and Jeeves is only half plausible, since Bertie needs Jeeves but Jeeves does not need Bertie.
Why, then, does Jeeves not leave?
Such questions are hardly to the purpose, for the relationship of Bertie and Jeeves depends not upon plausibility but on convention.
Wodehouse adapted them, but luckily he did more than that; he invented his own version of an archetype and created a new myth.
Some works of Wodehouse are an ingenious mixture of modes, but the Bertie and Jeeves books are pure comedy.
Their plots are better than those of most of the other books, and Wodehouse was one of the great plot—makers of literature.
He composed rapidly Guy Bolton said that to save time Wodehouse fed a continuous roll of paper into his typewriter, later cutting it into eleven—inch pagesbut he plotted slowly.
Wodehouse finds plenty of scope for farce in a big house in Wimbledon, and he contrives excellent foolery in a small cottage with a potting shed, but he discovers the ideal theatre in the stately home of England.
With its numerous rooms and extensive grounds, it becomes under his direction a labyrinth, an obstacle course, and a huge booby trap.
With its large staff of servants and its many guests, read more is also a great playhouse for the disguise, impersonation, and mistaken identity which are staples of farce.
Sir Roderick Glossop of all people impersonates a butler, and Jeeves impersonates Inspector Witherspoon of.
In a single novel Bertie impersonates Gussie Please click for source, and Gussie impersonates Bertie.
In another novel Bertie thinks that Plank is an old labourer on his own estate, and Plank thinks that Bertie is, first, a reporter come to interview him about his Brazilian expedition and, second, a cook named Alpine Joe.
Banks, which sounds as if it were inspired by Ouida.
Keene is a handsome officer in the Coldstream Guards.
He loves the beautiful Cynthia Grey but cannot declare himself, since she is engaged to another.
He takes the blame for a crime committed by her brother and, released from prison, becomes a beachcomber in Seas.
He breaks into Government House to get a rose which Cynthia has worn in her hair, and she tells him that her brother made a deathbed confession.
Her husband, thinking Keene a burglar, shoots him.
Wodehouse finds it profitable to be in debt to Rosie M.
Before Bingo Little marries Rosie, he has, as it were, enacted a score of her novels in goofy versions of his own.
Other Wodehouse clowns slog through bilge, and Catsmeat Potter—Pirbright, more cynic than clown, recommends the most abominable brand of it.
A golden—haired child if you will allow yourself to be guided by me, with blue eyes, pink cheeks, and a lisp.
Such happenings as these, like all others in Wodehouse, are related in a prose that called the best of his time.
Belloc must have admired the grace and lucidity of it, and perhaps he admired the complexity that makes it inimitable.
Wodehouse lays tribute upon great writers, but just as he exploits cliches of character and plot from subliteratures he also exploits vocabularies and idioms from a great range of written and spoken English: not only bilge and thrillers but also popular science, newspaper editorials, the argot of trades and professions, slang, sermons, the talk of schoolmasters and schoolboys.
The style is not altogether unlike the talk of a bright schoolboy newly aware of language, fascinated by great poetry and archaic expressions and fascinated as well by slang and technical terms.
But it is, please click for source course, a Platonic form of that talk: sophisticated, widely informed, skillfully controlled in all its incongruities.
The style suits Wodehouse as narrator.
Properly adapted, it suits most of his comic characters.
And it suits Bertie best of all, for Bertie is a hero educated but not intellectual, of wide reading but erratic memory, enthusiastic but puerile.
One thing that he does not use is obscenity.
As Orwell said, he is remarkable for the purity of his language, since a comic writer sacrifices a great source of comedy when he refrains from obscenity.
In the later novels, however, there are occasional hells and damns and a rare bastard or bitch.
The commotion that Roberta Wickham is always starting, he says, is very amusing to her but not to the unfortunate toads beneath the harrow whom she ruthlessly plunges into the soup.
Bertie employs such learned devices as the transferred epithet, repeatedly taking grave sips of coffee and smoking meditative cigarettes, and his hyperboles and understatements are probably the best in Wodehouse.
Sometimes he appears to forget that there is a singular in English, and if two constables enter a room, he says that the place is filling up with rozzers.
Bertie often relies on a basic stock which Wodehouse got at Dulwich.
There is a good deal from the Bible and still more from Shakespeare.
Evelyn Waugh admired Wodehouse greatly.
The rightness of the formulas on which Wodehouse constructed the world of Bertie and Jeeves is proved by his comparative failures when he departs from the formulas.
It is one thing for Bertie to tell how Jeeves extricated him from a scrape and another for Jeeves to tell how he deliberately got Bertie into a scrape.
It is one thing for Bertie to admit cheerfully that he is a chump and another for Jeeves to confide cooly that Bertie has no intellect.
The speech is a disaster, and Bertie drops the notion of an enlarged household.
The story is, in effect, advice to beginning valets about keeping the upper hand, and it introduces into the stories what Bertie never introduces, the practical politics and cruelty of the real world.
One may call it Times Augustan, as Richard Usborne does, or bogus Augustan, as Evelyn Waugh called the prose of.
Instead of the Wooster music, the wild Wooster poetry, it has order, dignity, irony; instead of amiability, it has a somewhat stuffy reserve.
Though he is Chief Ian fleming casino royale sparknotes of the county, Colonel Wyvern cannot get the kind of servants who once graced the stately homes of England.
His butler is not well—stricken in years, corpulent, and nicely soaked in port from the pantry but a whipper—snapper of sixteen, and his cook is an impudent fifteen.
The ninth earl of More info, the hero of the novel, is obliged to sell Rowcester Abbey because he cannot pay the taxes on it.
We are living now in what is known as the Welfare State, which means — broadly — that everybody is completely destitute.
Worse for Ring for Jeeves, Bertie is absent from the novel.
Wooster, though his finances are still quite sound, feels that it is prudent to build for the future, in case the social revolution should set in with even greater severity.
Wodehouse relates Ring for Jeeves in please click for source style of his other comic novels, and that style is one of his great accomplishments, but the style of Bertie is a greater one.
Wodehouse brings her up to date by making her a licensed veterinarian, the first professional woman in the novels.
The impoverished Bill another favourite name Rowcester becomes a bookie with insufficient capital and a disguise of eye patch, false moustache, and loud checked coat.
Spottsworth and Captain Biggar save the novel, but it barely survives a major calamity.
Jeeves becomes assistant to Bill on the racecourse and wears a dreadful checked suit and false moustache.
The authentic Jeeves might have wished these on Bertie, but he would never have worn them for Bertie, much less for Bill Rowcester.
In virtually all the other Bertie and Jeeves novels, Wodehouse obeys the bylaws that he enacted for his world, with happy results for the commonwealth of literature.
Given the word valet in an association test, thousands of readers would think of Jeeves.
Bertie is a character of almost Dickensian vividness and a narrator whose voice is unmistakable.
Like the Sherlock Holmes stories, the Bertie and Jeeves books evoke a nostalgia for the Victorian—Edwardian world.
But the Holmes stories are, after all, crime stories and, as Gavin Lambert has shown, there is a sense of evil in them that grows greater as Doyle grows older.
In the entire world of Bertie and Jeeves, however, Holmes himself could not discover the slightest trace of wickedness.
Anyone who dismisses that world as a bauble because it is buoyant makes a great eror.
For it is in fact the creation of an artist whose adroitness is one of the distinctions of English comedy.
Wodehouse: A Comprehensive Bibliography and Checklist, ed.
Eileen Mcllvaine, Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1990, p.
Wodehouse, Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1974.
A study of the comedic form, plots birmingham gala casino in characters in the fiction of Wodehouse.
Wodehouse, New York: Twayne, 1966.
A literary biography by an eminent Wodehouse scholar.
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