More Jeeves! (See my past readings here, here, here, and here.) At this point I’m recognizing all the Bertie-and-Jeeves patterns. There will be daunting aunts; there will be engagements, future, past and present, and conflicts between them; there will be secrets and hiding places and nighttime sneakings around; there will be old school friends and grouchy nobility who Bertie offended when he was young. Perhaps most importantly (to Husband, especially), there are very funny names. Jeeves will, of course, come to the rescue.
In this installment, Jeeves desires to go fishing in a river in the countryside, but Bertie resists visiting the idyllic town of Steeple Bumpleigh (funny name number one) because of the family residing there (daunting aunt) and the resident nobility (grouchy). Also, he dreads contact with Florence Craye, to whom he was formerly betrothed (check), although he has a few old school chums (check) out there as well. Jeeves joins forces with said grouchy nobility and manages to install Bertie in Steeple Bumpleigh, where he ends up bumblingly trying to help said old school chums pull off a desired engagement. Old acquaintances include Nobby Hopwood, Boko Fittleworth, and by far my personal favorite, Stilton Cheesewright. Stilton recalls another occasional Wodehouse pattern: the bicycling policeman.
It’s a funny one, and as a bonus, there is a “fancy dress” (costume) ball. Bertie humbles the nobility some, but it takes Jeeves to finish the job. I continue to be a fan of Wodehouse; he makes me giggle. Bertie does indulge in some misogyny here and there but it did not bother me as much as it did that one time. These books are admittedly more silly than anything else, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable; I think Wodehouse is a genius of comedy, both in phrasing (and names!) and in situations. These are classic comedies-of-error. Recommended.