Our assembled members, fewer in number by the absence of members Shawn and Janette (but buoyed by my relatives), were wowed by The Girl on the Boat at our September meeting. It met with unalloyed praise as we all read our favorite quotes, praised the well-drawn characters of Billie Bennett and Jane Hubbard, shook our heads at Sam Marlowe’s black-face performance and uttered “Svensk!”
Member Ed thought Wodehouse’s 1922 novel was quite a farce, in the best possible interpretation of that word. We traded links to YouTube recordings of “I Am the Bandolero!” and the 1961 Norman Wisdom movie (original member Mike mentioned that Wisdom was big in Albania). Newer member Mike dazzled us with his copious notes on the book and in general, we showed that seriously researching a Wodehouse novel is anything but serious. It’s great fun.
We also chose The Mating Season as our next book to read for the Nov. 13 meeting, making a long-awaited return to the world of Jeeves & Wooster. This is the second book in the Totleigh Towers saga and has the wonderfully named Dame Daphne Winkworth, who bridges the Blandings and J&W stories. The story is annotated at Madame Eulalie. I will be providing the story notes.
Although The Mating Season was roundly received as the next book, Member Mike (the first one) suggested we take a look at the earlier stories like The Pothunters or Tales of St. Austin’s. Mike also suggested that perhaps we do a meeting where we discuss Wodehouse’s wartime broadcasts, the transcripts of which can be found at the PG Wodehouse Society UK. Unfortunately the Wodehouse in Exile documentary can no longer be found on YouTube. Comment here or on the facebook page if you like these proposals.
We also set the time and date for our Wodehouse birthday bash: 2:30 pm Oct. 23 at the home of this humble correspondent. The address will be sent out in an email. Member Joice suggested we do a potluck—a suggestion for which I am very grateful. We could do a tea or could pick some other theme.
Finally, I suggested at the meeting that one of our club activities could be contributing to Wodehouse research by annotating one of the novels not currently represented at Madame Eulalie. One that comes to mind is If I Were You, which we discussed in July 2014. Again, comment here or at facebook if that idea is appealing. We could divide a story by chapters and assign them.