The second volume of Wodehouse's The Inimitable Jeeves continues with Bingo Little and his romantic tussles. Bertie and Bingo had been chums since their boyhoods and the old egg features famously in the Wooster chronicles (he also can be found in some of Wodehouse's Drones Club short stories, including Eggs, Beans and Crumpets and Nothing Serious).
The Inimitable Jeeves stories 'The Great Sermon Handicap' and 'The Purity of the Turf' are concerned with wagering on bizarre ideas such as the length of vicars' sermons and the results of church fete egg and spoon races. Vicars are mainstays of Wodehousian humour: with good reason, as vicaring gave something for feckless Oxonian younger sons to do.
In the early 1920s, English life for Plum (as Wodehouse was known) still saw the pre-war social order calmly continuing for ever. The revolting proletariat held no fears for him. And this is perhaps why Jeeves and Wooster still appeal: a Shakespearian Lord of Misrule undermining the status quo in an acceptable way and the satire of the valet always having the upper hand so gentle as not to unsettle.
Prelapsarian nirvana. As one of Wodehouse's more progressive vicars might put it.
* * * *
© copyright 2010 AudioBooksReview. All rights reserved.
Buy The Inimitable Jeeves (vol. 2)