"Every author really wants to have letters printed in the papers. Unable to make the grade, he drops down a rung of the ladder and writes novels."
P. G. Wodehouse
He makes me laugh out loud!
Some are born with Wodehouses in their bookshelves. Some acquire Wodehouses. Some have Wodehouses thrust upon them. I was a three-in-one! My father had an old Penguin 'The Man Upstairs & other stories' in our shelves when I was a baby. I read that, as I read everything about the house, but the stories were Early Wodehouse, and romances with a little humour, and I wasn't impressed terribly. And so the years passed till I was 14, when a good friend thrust 'Leave it to Psmith' on me.
"Read it!" he said, "It's hilarious!"
Leave it to Psmith gripped me from the start! I loved the hero, Psmith, whose name was plain Smith, till he added the P. Watch him explain that addition to a maid:
'...The name is Psmith. P-smith.'
'No, no. P-s-m-i-t-h. I should explain to you that I started life without the initial letter, and my father always clung ruggedly to the plain Smith. But it seemed to me there were so many Smiths in the world that a little variety might well be introduced. Smythe I look on as a cowardly evasion, nor do I approve of the too prevalent custom of tacking another name on in front by means of a hyphen. So I decided to adopt the Psmith. The p, I should add for your guidance, is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan. You follow me?'
That was my first intro to Psmith and an entry into a world of timeless laughter. I was hooked to Wodehouse for life! I started reading his books like one gone mad. While travelling, eating, before bed...whenever I could. Even now, when slightly blue, I just need a dose of Wodehouse to cheer me up. His stories will live on, as Evelyn Waugh said, ``Mr Wodehouse's idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.''
While that world exists, Wodehouse will be immortal. Will write more about him, soon. Promise.
Wooster - Jeeves
The above is from the TV show featuring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, the funniest duo in English literature.
Below is a video from Shropshire tourism, for you to feast your eyes on the beauty of the setting Wodehouse adopted for his Blandings Castle series of novels and short stories.