Jeeves is known for his convoluted yet precise speech and for quoting from Shakespeare and famous romantic poets. In his free time, he likes to relax with "improving" books such as the complete works of Spinoza , or to read " Dostoyevsky and the great Russians". His potable concoctions, both of the alcoholic and the morning-after variety, are legendary. Jeeves frequently displays mastery over a vast range of subjects, from philosophy his favourite philosopher is Spinoza ; he finds Nietzsche "fundamentally unsound" [5] through an encyclopaedic knowledge of poetry, science, history, psychology, geography, politics, and literature. He is also a "bit of a whizz" in all matters pertaining to gambling, car maintenance, etiquette, and women.

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James P. Bernens While there is never an unfavorable time to read a good book, there are some works and authors which seem to command our interest at very particular occasions of the year. In my opinion, for example, The Wind in the Willows seems best suited to the springtime, whereas Treasure Island utterly belongs to the tropical warmth of summer.

True enough, my reader might say; but what has any of this to do with the great English comic author, P. Just this. In celebrating the triumphant Resurrection of Our Lord at Easter, and His sacrificial reconciliation of all men to their Creator, we have so lately entered the most joyful, ebullient, and exhilarating season of the Church year.

After the arduous, penitential journey of Lent, we are met with a time of celebration and rejoicing—and we are at last enabled to feel, as we ought to feel, the profound holiness and healthiness of all that God has lovingly bestowed upon us, including the singular gift of laughter. What, then, could be better suited to our present delight than the whimsical stories of the most joyful, ebullient and exhilarating English author of the previous century? Simply stated, P. In witty prose and absurdly amusing dialect, Wodehouse frames a fantastical picture of the English upper classes during the years which intervened between the two world wars.

Nearly every story carries the reader through a series of trumped-up plights which befall Mr. Wooster and his equally feckless friends, often through the sights and clubs of London and New York, or amongst the stately homes of the English gentry. Wooster, who frequently serves as the narrator of his own adventures, stands as an artistic illustration of providence at work. My Aunt Agatha would testify to this effect…. I admit it. I am a chump. If the wisdom of the ages is a prerequisite for your reading pleasure, the attentive eye will observe no shortage of maxims and aphorisms in the mind of Wodehouse.

At moments of particular duress, someone or other in each tale will render an infinitely charming observation. And his philosophy in the face of trying circumstances is astonishing!

You might as well blame a fellow for getting run over by a truck. The Jeeves stories are refreshingly free from the most sneeringly unwholesome and hackneyed tricks. Indeed, Wodehouse deserves our admiration, if only because he displays the rare talent of writing truly funny satire without feeling the need to descend to anything like scorn—that bitter, sarcastic form of malice in which far too many moderns seem to take special delight.

Yet, if all of the above reasons are not sufficient to convince my reader to give Wodehouse a fair hearing—that is, if you are not persuaded that anyone who made a living writing comic novelettes could be a quintessentially good author—perhaps I could bolster the argument by simply adding that Wodehouse is also quintessentially English.

No man who calls himself an Anglophile, or who is otherwise learned in the sights and scenes of the British Isles, could fail in his sympathy with the Jeeves stories. To quote another giant of twentieth-century English letters, Hilaire Belloc: The English people more than any other have created in their literature living men and women rather than types.

Wodehouse has created Jeeves…. He has formed a man filled with the breath of life. If in, say, 50 years, Jeeves and any other of that great company—but in particular, Jeeves—shall have faded, then what we have so long called England will be no longer.

In closing, then, I would point out that although Wodehouse wrote several longer pieces involving this famous duo, I most highly recommend the pithy short stories which are collected in the volumes Carry On, Jeeves and Very Good, Jeeves!. These succinct narratives form an excellent introduction to Wodehouse in general, and to the Jeeves genre in particular, since they represent the original substance from which the most famous of his works proceeded.

Only so can the best results be obtained! Happy Easter!





P. G. Wodehouse short stories bibliography



P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves Stories



Jeeves Series


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