Jeeves And Wooster Fun Site

Jeeves and Wooster

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

Most folk who love English literature know of Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse. He was a humorist and writer, born in 1881 and dying in 1975. He was among the most famous writers of the 20th century. Wodehouse was educated at Dulwich College, a 400 year old school for boys, located in London. Later in his life he moved to the United States, becoming a United States citizen in 1955. His writing career spanned more than 70 years.

During that career he wrote many plays, novels and articles. Some of these came to be viewed as masterpieces. Many readers found delight in reading Piccadilly Jim and Hot Water, thought to be among the best of his novels.

However, his most famous are the stories about Jeeves and Wooster. They give us a look into the life of Bertie Wooster, a wealthy and carefree young man. He lives in his London apartment with his extraordinarily intelligent valet, Reginald Jeeves.

The stories describe how Bertie is put in various embarrassing situations, by his own bumbling. Two of his friends, Tuppy Glossop and Bingo Little do their share of bungling to make life challenging for Bertie. Amazingly, he manages to cope, or escape from all kinds of situations — usually in a humorous manner. And all of this is with the help of his smart and reliable valet, Jeeves.

Bertie seldom faced the kind of problems most of us encounter. Also, he was a life member of the Drones Club. This was a kind of fraternity for those who have plenty of money and servants, and are not bothered with earning a livelihood. A drone is a male bee which doesn’t work. It was a suitable description for the members of this club.

The first time readers were introduced to this young writer was in 1917 when a 13 story compilation was offered to the reading public. It was called

A Man With Two Left Feet. Some of the stories were based on real situations from the life of Wodehouse. And some of these stories were continuations of previous ones.

Reginald Jeeves appears as both gentle and very smart. If it were not for his help, Bertie Wooster would have struggled hopelessly in most situations.  However, thanks to Jeeves, Bertie is always rescued and finds a solution to the problem.

One of the most important things Jeeves does is to make tea for his master each morning. Additionally, he does his best to shield his master from a possible marriage which would be a disaster.

Before Jeeves has come into the picture, Bertie had another valet. This servant was accused of stealing socks! So Bertie fired him. Jeeves appeared and immediately showed himself valuable. He helped Bertie recover from a hangover. To do so, he mixed an elixir of raw eggs, pepper and Worcester sauce. This tonic proved to be a “miracle cure.” Amazed, Bertie immediately hired Jeeves as his valet.

A distinctive feature of most of these stories is that they seem to all have a somewhat similar beginning and a similar conclusion. Of course the plot lines are all different, calling for quick solutions, spiced with a lot of humor.

Once Jeeves calls at his friend’s place to tell Bingo Little that he has landed a job. The job involved tutoring Oswald Glossop. While there, Bingo confides the fact that he has romantic feelings for Oswald’s sister, Honoria.

This came as a real surprise to Wooster, as he had never thought of Honoria as beautiful at all. In fact, he compared her to a pot of poison. All the same, he quickly looses interest in the situation, and decides to have lunch with his Aunt Agatha.

During the lunch she tells Bertie the “great news” that she has finally found a good wife for him. One can only imagine how shocked Bertie was to learn that the girl’s name was Honoria. Of course he was upset. But at the moment he felt trapped and helpless.

Then he came up with a new strategy. He would try to get his friend Bingo interested in the girl. The plan was as follows: Bertie would push Oswald into the lake while fishing from a bridge. Bingo was to jump in and rescue him. This would make him look like a hero to Honoria.

However, the plan failed. Bingo didn’t show up. This was due to his being attracted to someone else — Daphne Braythwayte, who was also a friend of Honoria. Bingo told Bertie that he no longer had any feelings for Honoria. And further, he admits that he is in love with Daphne. And somehow, Bertie is tricked into becoming engaged to Honoria Glossop.

Further on in the story, the reader meets Claude and Eustace Wooster, identical twins and cousins of Bertie. They tell him that Lord Rainsby is in London, and that he is going to join a club there. They also try to borrow a “fiver” (five pound note) from him.

Bertie hurries home where he does his best to entertain Honoria’s father. They are having lunch together. During the meal, Sir Roderick tells him a story about someone trying to steal his hat. Then, changing the subject, he declares that he hears a cat meowing somewhere nearby.

Bertie says that is impossible. But just then Jeeves enters the situation. He announces that there are indeed three cats in the bedroom. And further, there is a salmon under the bed. This news makes Sir Roderick angry and he gets up to leave.

At that moment he finds his hat — the hat supposedly stolen. It rather appears that Bertie was the thief. Sir Roderick declares that there is no question but that Bertie is crazy, and he chooses not to spend time with such people.

In the end, it comes out that the fish belonged to Lord Rainsby. Rainsby was applying for membership in the Seekers Club. One requirement for admission to the club was that the applicant must “pinch” (steal) some kind of souvenir.

Unfortunately the fish was quickly eaten by the hungry cats. Bertie could only explain and then try to escape as soon as possible. Following this, he is able to dismiss all worries about wedding bells.  He also decides that perhaps a good solution to his problems would be to go to New York. It would also provide a rather permanent escape from his Aunt Agatha.