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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 23 October 2016

"The Mating Season" by P G Wodehouse

Bertie Wooster has to pretend to be Gussie Fink-Nottle and Gussie has to pretend to be Bertie to resolve the broken engagements of:

  • Hollywood film starlet and Bertie's childhood friend Corky and Esmond Haddock, a man who cannot stand up to his five disapproving aunts;
  • Corky's brother Catsmeat who loves Esmond's niece Gertrude;
  • Gussie's betrothed Madeleine Bassett who, if Gussie chucks her in favour of his grwoing infatuation with Corky who is playing hard to get with Esmond, will turn her attention to Bertie whom, she thinks, loves her;
  • Village policeman PC Dodds, sworn enemy to Corky since he had locked up her dog,  and parlourmaid Queenie who is daughter to Jeeves' uncle Silversmith.

Naturally, the paths of true love are beautifully entangled.

A classic Jeeves and Wooster farce written in Wodehouse's perfect prose including the lines:

  • "dragons are one thing, and aunts are another"
  • "it was plain at a glance that the passage of time had done nothing to gruntle him"
  • "I wouldn't have believed ... that anybody ... could be such an authority on the film world as is Mrs Clara Wellbeloved. She knows much more about it than I do, and I'll have been moving in celluloid circles [love that image!] two years come Lammas Eve [love the archaism]. She knows exactly how many times everybody's been divorced and why, how much every picture for the last twenty years has grossed, and how many Warner brothers there are. She even knows how many times Artie Shaw has been married, which I'll bet he couldn't tell you himself. She asked if I had ever married Artie Shaw, and when I said No, seemed to think I was pulling her leg or must have done it without noticing. I tried to explain that when a girl goes to Hollywood she doesn't have to marry Artie Shaw, it's optional, but I don't think I convinced her."
  • "in vino what's-the-word"
  • "I told her more. In fact I told her all. When I had finished, she laughed like a hyena and also, for girls never make sense, let fall a pearly tear or two."
  • "I don't know anything more sickening than being baffled by an unforeseen stymie at the eleventh hour"
  • "I made for it like a man on a walking tour diving into a village pub two minutes before closing time."

"A tall, drooping man, looking as if he had been stuffed in a hurry by an incompetent taxidermist."

Beautiful stuff by the man who also wrote the equally brilliant Aunts Aren't Gentlemen.

October 2016; 272 pages

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