First published in UK: October 22 1948 by Herbert Jenkins, London
First published in US: December 3 1948 by Didier, New York
Russian text (265K)
It is avowed mission in life of Frederick Altamont Cornwallis, fifth Earl of Ickenham,
to spread sweetness and light come what may.
From boyhood his has been a gay and happy disposition, and in the autumn of his life he still
retains the fresh, unspoiled mental outlook of slightly inebriated undergraduate.
A keen matchmaker and intrepid impersonator, Lord Ickenham is in his element when at large
on a sweetness-and-light-spreading excursion. On this occasion the hapless object of his
benevolence are his love-lorn nephew, Reginald ('Pongo') Twistleton, and Pongo's former
crony, Bill Oakshot. Invariably a mixed blessing, this time the gleam in Uncle Dynamite's eye
heralds trouble of a major kind...
Frederick Altamont Cornwallis, 5th Earl of Ickenham — 60 year old uncle of
Pongo's who went to school with Sir Aylmer and Major Plank and was known
there as Barmy. Wants Pongo to marry Sally.
Bill Oakshott — Childhood pal of Pongo's who is shy and loves Hermione
(Pongo) Reginald G. Twistleton — Lord I's nephew who inherited a pile of
money and is engaged to Hermione
(Mugsy) Sir Aylmer Bostock — Bill's 57 year old uncle, an ex-colonial
governor who is running for Parliament
Hermione Bostock — Sir Aylmer's determined, intellectual
daughter whom Bill loves with silent devotion. Engaged to
Pongo and writes novels under the name of Gwynneth Gould
(Bimbo) Major Brabazon-Plank — Lead an expedition to the Lower Amazon which
Coggs — Lord Ickenham's butler
Sally Painter — Small, pert American sculptress who used to be
engaged to Pongo and loves him still
Otis Painter — Sally's brother who published Sir Aylmer's reminiscences
Lady Emily Bostock — Sir Aylmer's devoted wife
Harold Potter — 28 year old Police Constable engaged to Elsie.
Before being transferred to Ashenden Oakshott, he had
arrested Pongo and Uncle Fred at the Dog Races in London.
Elsie Bean — Housemaid at the Manor engaged to Harold
Mrs. Gooch — Cook at the Manor
Mrs. Bella Stubbs — Harold's 33 year old sister
Jno. Humphrey — Landlord of the Bull's Head
Augustus Popgood (*)
Cyril Grooly (*)