Thursday, May 13, 2010

PG Wodehouse Vintage Thingie Thursday

(Please visit ColoradoLady for info on Vintage Thingie Thursday)

(photos included are of my first editions, that have their original dust jackets)

I don't know about you but I LOVE PG Wodehouse!

I've been straining my brain trying to remember which came first for me - the BBC Series, The Wodehouse Playhouse from 1975 or my picking up a copy of "Meet Mr. Mulliner" at the bookstore???

I'm thinking I must have seen The Wodehouse Playhouse first - starring the charming real life husband and wife team of John Alderton and Pauline Collins (they acted together in "Upstairs Downstairs" and "No Honestly", aired here on PBS). (Pauline Collins also much beloved in "Shirley Valentine".)

So then following on the heels of The Wodehouse Playhouse, I first read "Meet Mr. Mulliner" - I laughed out loud, with tears streaming down my face, the stories were so funny.

Thus began an all consuming love affair. I pursued my obsession doggedly, whenever entering a bookstore, I headed for Wodehouse first. I picked up funky used books, I picked up first editions, I picked up paper backs.

I picked up a first edition of "Golf Without Tears" at an antiquarian book fair, lying to myself that I would give it to my golfer father. Uh uh, I kept it, yes I did! Addiction is not pretty. bwhahahhahahha I can hear you saying "Sally, how could you do that to your beloved papa?!" Well, it really wasn't cruel of me, my father doesn't read books (can you imagine?!) - my real crime was that I had used him to rationalize paying the big bucks for the book. (say that three times ... big bucks for the book!)

P.G. Wodehouse wrote something like ninety books ... I'd guess I have about half, mostly paperbacks. The frenzy to collect wore off long ago but I still wander over to the W's when I'm in a used bookstore.

Oh! I just remembered - I bet some of you have seen the delightful Jeeves and Wooster series on PBS with Hugh Laurie (of "House" fame here) and Stephen Fry?

Here's a fun article written by Hugh Laurie about how P.G. Wodehouse saved his life.

Here's an excerpt of from the article:

But this, you will be nauseated to learn, is a tale of redemption. In about my 13th year, it so happened that a copy of Galahad at Blandings by P. G. Wodehouse entered my squalid universe, and things quickly began to change. From the very first sentence of my very first Wodehouse story, life appeared to grow somehow larger. There had always been height, depth, width and time, and in these prosaic dimensions I had hitherto snarled, cursed, and not washed my hair. But now, suddenly, there was Wodehouse, and the discovery seemed to make me gentler every day. By the middle of the fifth chapter I was able to use a knife and fork, and I like to think that I have made reasonable strides since.

I spent the following couple of years meandering happily back and forth through Blandings Castle and its environs - learning how often the trains ran, at what times the post was collected, how one could tell if the Empress was off-colour, why the Emsworth Arms was preferable to the Blue Boar - until the time came for me to roll up the map of adolescence and set forth into my first Jeeves novel. It was The Code of the Woosters, and things, as they used to say, would never be the same again.

The facts in this case, ladies and gentlemen, are simple. The first thing you should know, and probably the last, too, is that P. G. Wodehouse is still the funniest writer ever to have put words on paper. Fact number two: with the Jeeves stories, Wodehouse created the best of the best. I speak as one whose first love was Blandings, and who later took immense pleasure from Psmith, but Jeeves is the jewel, and anyone who tries to tell you different can be shown the door, the mini-cab, the train station, and Terminal 4 at Heathrow with a clear conscience. The world of Jeeves is complete and integral, every bit as structured, layered, ordered, complex and self-contained as King Lear, and considerably funnier.

Read about P.G. Wodehouse on wikipedia


  1. I remember these books, I think I have even read one or two of these in the past....great books! Happy VTT!

  2. Loved your post today. Guess it has been too long for me to remember P.G. Wodehouse. I am glad you shared it with us and also so pleased you paid me a visit.

  3. I never read Wodehouse. I like cats so I just went and ordered a used paperback of The Cat-nappers.

  4. THank you Sally. I have to confess that I have heard the name PG Wodehouse before and sadly decided against his writings because his name sounded like a stuffy affluent Englishman. But I love English humor (BBC comedies, Monty Python and Bridget Jones are my faves) and will love to dive into this authors works at your recommendation.

  5. I have a feeling I would love these books..I love,love English comedy..Open All Hours, Fawlty Towers,Ms. Hyacinth Bouquet aka Bucket..
    I;ll have to start looking for the books.
    Happy VTT..

  6. I haven't heard of PG Wodehouse before, but they sound like something I would enjoy. I like the artwork of the dust jackets, especially The Ice in the Bedroom. :)

  7. I am embarrassed to say I haven't read any Wodehouse (hangs head in shame). Off to the used bookstore, this time with a purpose.

  8. I ADORE ADORE ADORE PG Wodehouse!! I have read many of his books many times, and I love the TV versions (OMG Hugh Laurie! Sigh. :)). See how much we have in common? We should be neighbors!! xox!

  9. I loved watching Jeeves and Wooster on PBS all those years ago. We would just laugh all night! :-)

  10. Loved seeing the charming graphics on the Wodehouse jackets. You have a wonderful collection. Thanks for sharing these with all of us.

  11. I haven't read any of the books, but I certainly will. I enjoyed reading your post today!

  12. Love the graphics but y'know I had never heard of him!!

  13. I've never read one of Wodehouse's books, and never knew what he wrote about, but now I want to! And you mentioned Upstairs Downstairs. I loved the book and I really loved the series. I wish they would show things like that again on PBS!
    Happy VTT!

  14. Thank's for dropping by. Have a good Saturday...Julian

  15. What fun, I immediately recall the covers of these books as my mother loved this author. I too didn't give them a thought because they looked stuffy. I'll have to give them a go! Have a great weekend! E

  16. What a fun collection. Books are addictive, aren't they. Great graphics on the covers. I've never read one of those, I'll have to give them a try.

  17. I saw every Jeeves and Worcester on PBS. I absolutely like Hugh Laurie and Steven Fry. As the butler, Fry always saves the day. Such charming writing. Makes me want to watch a little PBS. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I agree, what fun to collect these works of art!
    I haven't read these, but now I'm intrigued; Thanks for sharing~