|The Luck of the Bodkins
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First published in UK: October 11 1935 by Herbert Jenkins, London|
First published in US: January 3 1936 by Little, Brown & Co., Boston
- Vezyot zhe etim Bodkinam! by N. Usova, A. Sokolinskaya: 2002
Things on board the R. M. S. Atlantic are terribly, terribly, complicated.
Monty Bodkin loves Gertrude, who thinks he likes Lotus Blossom, a starlet,
who definitely adores Ambrose, who thinks that she has a thing for his
brother, Reggie, who is struck by Mabel Spence, sister-in-law of Ikey
Llewellyn (movie mogul, Ambrose's prospective employer and reluctant
smuggler), but hasn't the means to marry her. With well-meaning but
unhelpful ship's steward Albert Peasemarch and a toy mouse with a screw-top
head thrown in for good measure, it will, indeed, take the luck of the
Bodkins to sort it all out.
Click for enlarge book cover
(Monty) Montague Bodkin — 28 year old hero who is engaged to Gertrude
Gertrude Butterwick — Engaged to Monty and on the All English Ladies' Hockey Team
Ambrose Tennyson — Gertrude's cousin, a novelist supposedly under contract to Superba-Llewellyn and engaged to Lotus Blossom
Ivor Llewellyn — President of the Superba-Llewellyn Motion Picture Corp.
Married ex-star Grayce who wants him to smuggle a necklace into the States.
(Lottie) Lotus Blossom — A beautiful redheaded movie star under contract to
Llewellyn who possesses a dominant personality. Engaged to Ambrose.
Mabel Spence — Ivor's sister-in-law who is an osteopath in Beverly Hills.
Falls in love with Reggie.
George — Mabel's worthless brother
(Reggie) Reginald Tennyson — Ambrose's younger brother who loves Mabel
John G. Butterwick — Gertrude's father and the Tennysons' uncle
Jane Passenger — Captain of the Hockey Team
Albert Eustace Peasemarch — 46 year old Bedroom Steward
Wilfred — Lottie's alligator
J.G. Gooch (*)
The central character here is a stuffed Mickey Mouse doll, the head of
which screws off in case you want to fill it with, say, chocolates. Monty
Bodkin bought it in the shop of the SS Atlantic, as a douceur for his
on-again, off-again fiancée, Gertrude Butterwick. Gertrude had cut up rough
when, seeing, in a snapshot Monty had sent her from Antibes, a spot on his
chest, she had had the photograph enlarged and the spot spelt 'Sue' with a
heart round it: a tattoo. Gertrude (centre forward) is travelling to
America with an All-England ladies hockey team. Also aboard are Ivor
Llewellyn, President of Superba-Llewellyn Motion Pictures of Hollywood, who
has been, to his horror, ordered by his wife to smuggle a pearl necklace
for her past the New York Customs; Reggie and Ambrose Tennyson, brothers,
Reggie an amusing drone of the type that the ravens feed, Ambrose a serious
spare-time novelist, who has been hired away from his job at the Admiralty
to write for Superba-Llewellyn for $1,500 a week (Llewellyn had been told
that he was the Tennyson, who had written The Boy Stood on the Burning
Deck, which of course was by Shakespeare). Ambrose is engaged to Lottie
Blossom, Hoboken Irish redhead movie star with a pet alligator, the most
turbulent of all Wodehouse's hell-raising heroines. The staterooms (or
'sheds') of all these passengers are served by steward Albert Eustace
Peasemarch, tubby, talkative and, if, as seems likely, this was once a play
or film script, a fat part for Eric Blore.
Another Anglo-American novel, ninety per cent of it afloat, long and one of
Source: Richard Usborne. Plum Sauce. A P G Wodehouse Companion.