|The Small Bachelor
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First published in UK: April 28 1927 by Methuen & Co, London|
First published in US: June 17 1927 by George H. Doran, New York
- Roman na kryshe by M. Volosov: 1928
- Neprimetnyj kholostyak by I. Mitrofanova: 2001, 2012
What must a man do in order to put an end to his bachelorhood...
For George Finch, one of 'Nature's white mice' and probably the worst
artist ever to put brush to canvas, there are many obstacles to overcome.
Undoubtedly the greatest is his beloved Molly's fearsome stepmother, Mrs
Waddington, who has her eye on an eligible English lord for a son-in-law.
Luckily, George has an ally in sharp-witted Hamilton Beamish, an old family
friend of the Waddingtons. Then there is George's butler Mullett and his
light-fingered girlfriend, Fanny, whose valuable skills are of particular
interest to the would-be father-in-law...
Click for enlarge book cover
George Finch — Hero from East Gilead, Ohio, living at the
Sheridan Apartment House in Greenwich Village. Small, slim
and wealthy man who fancies himself an amateur artist.
Frederick Mullet — Finch's man of all work. Ex-crook who
James Hamilton Beamish — Author in his early 30's of the
famous Beamish Booklets who lives at the Sheridan.
Efficiency expert who falls in love with May Stubbs.
Officer Garroway — Policeman wanting to become a poet, takes
instruction from Beamish.
Fanny Welch — Mullett's fiancee who is a pickpocket
Molly Waddington — 20 year old heroine who is short and plump
Sigsbee Horatio Waddington — Molly's father who loves the
west. An ex-millionaire who is browbeaten and dominated by
his wealthy wife.
Mrs. Waddington — Molly's stepmother. Widow of P. Homer
Horlick, the Cheese King.
Rupert Antony Ferris — Waddington's butler who used to work
in Bragmarley Hall, Little-Seeping-in-the-Wold, Salop
Lord Hunstanton — Englishman who sponges on Mrs. Waddington
May Sutbbs — Mrs. Waddington's palmist, using the alias
Madame Eulalie. Comes from East Gilead who knew George
there. Falls in love with Beamish.
Rev. Gideon Voules — Clergyman who should have married George and Molly
L. Lancelot Biffen — Editor-in-Chief of Town Gossip, who lives in the Sheridan
Brewster Bodthorne (*)
George Finch, shy young man from Idaho, inherits money and goes to New York
to try to be a painter. He is a rotten painter. He goggles with love at a
cuddly girl. She turns out to be Molly Waddington, daughter of a 'synthetic
Westerner', Sigsbee Waddington, who is tied to New York by his snobbish and
rich second wife, but dreams of the open-air life as depicted by Zane
Grey's novels and Tom Mix's films. To get money for an investment which he
thinks will make him rich and free of dependence on his bossy wife, Sigsbee
Waddington has stolen the pearls from his daughter's valuable necklace,
sold them and replaced them with fakes. George Finch has a 'man', Mullett,
a reformed (?) convict. Mullett is engaged to Fanny Welch, pickpocket, and
both are trying to go straight. Place, New York. Time, Prohibition. There
is a poetical policeman, Garroway, a phony English Lord ('Willie the Dude')
Hunstanton, J. Hamilton Beamish, incorrigible writer of advice booklets,
and a displaced English butler looking back wistfully from service with the
Waddingtons in New York to Brangmarley Hall in Shropshire where he had been
footman and then butler in his day.
The whole thing is a farce, as near a Ben Travers imbroglio as any of
Wodehouse's books, and its plot and dialogue show that it started as a
play. The first good Wodehouse drunk scene - Sigsbee drunk on alcohol and
George Finch drunk on love.
Source: Richard Usborne. Plum Sauce. A P G Wodehouse Companion.