Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy’s Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day’s work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city’s reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle wodehouseempty.” One line from someone who had a great knack for them, which he displayed in over 300 stories, 90 books, 30 plays and musicals, and 20 film scripts. Comic novelist P.G. Wodehouse, creator of Jeeves the butler, was born on this day in 1881 in Surrey, England.

Beginning his career as a humor columnist for the London Globe, he also worked as a freelance writer, spending extended periods of time in the United States and in France. In 1915, he published “Extricating Young Gussie,” the first of many stories featuring the kindly but dim lightbulb Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves. My Man Jeeves, the first collection of Jeeves stories,was published in 1919; The Inimitable Jeeves, Very Good, Jeeves, and Thank You, Jeeves, a novel, followed during the next few years.

Wodehouse was knighted in 1975 at the age of ninety-three and died later that year.

He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life and found a dead beetle at the bottom.

Mike nodded. A sombre nod. The nod Napoleon might have given if somebody had met him in 1812 and said, “So, you’re back from Moscow, eh?”

I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.

There is only one cure for gray hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine.

She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when.’

The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.

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.

It was my Uncle George who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought.

And she’s got brains enough for two, which is the exact quantity the girl who marries you will need.

At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies.


4 thoughts on “October 15, 1881: Rated PG

  1. He’s in my top ten of favourite authors. I’ve just been reading his golf stories again. Don’t much care for golf, but those stories are just so effortlessly wonderful; Cuthbert’s confidence-inducing trousers, and the two crime bosses in New York who play to win a butler.

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