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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864

Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:47 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I don’t know any of Wodehouse’s stage works at all – except for the song “Bill” in Showboat, for which he had provided the lyrics. I’d always imagined his stahe works were re-workings of his novels.

On the whole, I prefer reading his works to seeing adaptations, as I miss the narrative voice in the latter. That said, I don’t know why there haven’t been adaptations yet of the Blandings stories. There has never been a shortage of comic acting talent in Britain. And the Blandings stories rely less on the tone of the narrative voice than do the Jeeves & Wooster stories.

I think, incidentally, that David Jason would superb as Uncle Fred.

See my blog:

(Go on! - You'd like it!  - Honest!)
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Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3375

Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lord Emsworth stories were on TV in 1967 with Ralph Richardson as LE. Richardson's wife, Meriel Forbes was Lady E. and Beach was Stanley Holloway and Freddie Threepwood was Derek Nimmo.   I can vaguely remember them. I can't believe it was so long ago.

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Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798

Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Pothunters is his first novel which happens to be a school story or more particularly a public school story about the theft of a number of trophies awarded to the winners of inter-house running races. Quelle horreur when a school prefect is the accused and, even worse, owes money to a boy from another school for a gambling debt. A pompous landowner and his gamekeepers, a Scotland Yard detective, a passive headmaster, and the boys with their clever badinage add up to a regular potpourri of characters.
Wodehouse attended Dulwich College so it would be natural for him to write his debut novel about a situation he was familiar with. He has been described as brilliantly funny and a comic genius, attributes which are already apparent in this first venture in fiction with its set-pieces of humour and satire. When he writes about the house routine of the boarders, the evening period set aside for homework preparation, the politeness to the masters, the desire to conform to the social values expected of them and their privileged position of being taught by those same enthusiastic masters it brought back to me the feelings of enjoyment I experienced in the year I spent at a minor public school in the middle forties.

This modern edition of The Pothunters is a volume in The Collector’s Wodehouse series published by The Overlook Press of New York with a text as it originally appeared in Public School Magazine, January, February, March 1902 and includes an illustration by R.Noel Peacock which is now used for the book jacket. What doesn’t appear in the magazine I would guess is the dedication to Joan, Effie and Ernestine Bowes-Lyon who must be related, of course, to the Queen Mother.

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Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798

Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Prefect’s Uncle is more about the prefect, Allan Gethryn, than his uncle Reginald Farnie who disappears from the school on his bicycle about halfway through the novel. Fernie has stolen money belonging to Gethryn who feels he has to persuade him to return to the school and so  sets off in pursuit. Unfortunately it is the same day as an important cricket match against a team from the MCC no less and as captain, Gethryn should be there. Although Fernie returns to school nothing more is heard of him until right at the end. Instead it is Gethryn and his decision not to explain his absence from the match that occupies the rest of the novel. So much for the bare outline of the plot: one particular joy, among many, I obtain from Wodehouse’s writing is the conversational exchanges between the boys, who are really young men, with the emphasis on respect, politeness and the knowledge of when to use an appropriate quotation. I don’t mind if it is an idealized version of school behavior, it keeps me entertained.

As Colin MacInnes points out in an Afterword this is the first time aunts are brought into the canon. They are not as fearsome as Aunt Agatha or as nice as Aunt Dahlia but one is the medium by which the shifty Fernie is introduced to Gethryn while it is his fellow study companion Marriott who is entrusted by his aunt with keeping, as she says, a kindly eye on the son of a great friend of a friend.

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Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2998

Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just read Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit, the title of which would make the reader assume they are all J and W stories, but they are not.  They are a collection of short stories by Wodehouse, and his particular brand of humour is to the fore in them.  I enjoyed more the Jeeves and Wooster stories but maybe that is because I am familiar with them from the TV series.  Indian Summer of an Uncle features them and includes much of what makes Bertie so amusing and appealing.  A Spot of Art was another featuring them and Aunt Dahlia - and another young woman whom Bertie has fallen in love with.  It all ends badly of course, with Gwladys' painting of Bertie which he had been very taken with ending up on an advertising billboard and mockery.

There is a Ukridge story of dogs.And an Uncle Fred one with Pongo trying not to offend him too much and also trying not to have too much to do with him.  And one with Tuppy.

At the end there is a paragraph from Stephen Fry which ends with "That he gave us all these and more is our good fortune and a testament to the most industrious, prolific and beneficent author ever to have sat down, scratched his head and banged out a sentence."  I wondered a bit about "the most industrious" and couldn't help thinking of Anthony Trollope.  There are probably others too.  Barbara Cartland as more prolific?

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