|Jeeves in the Offing (How Right You Are, Jeeves)
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US Title: How Right You Are, Jeeves|
First published in US: April 4 1960 by Simon & Schuster, New York
UK Title: Jeeves in the Offing
First published in UK: August 12 1960 by Herbert Jenkins, London
Bertie's ingenuity is put to the test when Jeeves goes away on holiday.
Taking a trip to Brinkley Court should be a joy for Bertie. When, however,
he discovers that his fellow guests are to include his former fiancee
Bobbie Wickham, Mrs Homer Cream the crime writer, Bertie's favourite brain
sqpecialist Sir Roderick Glossop and his equally popular ex-headmaster,
prize stinker Aubrey Upjohn, Bertie looks set to have a troublesome time.
Click for enlarge book cover
Jeeves — Vacationing at Herne Bay for the shrimps but rallies round
(Bertie) Bertram Wilberforce Wooster — Attended Malvern
House and gets engaged to Bobbie
(Kipper) Reginald Herring — Old chum who attended Malvern House with Bertie
Aubrey Upjohn, M.A. — Retired headmaster of Malvern House
who is running as the Conservative candidate for Market
Blandings. Wrote a book about prep schools.
Dahlia Travers — Bertie's good aunt
Sir Roderick Glossop — Eminent brain specialist posing as Aunt Dahlia's butler
Seppings — Butler at Brinkley Court on vacation at Bognor Regis
Anatole — Aunt Dahlia's superb French chef
Thomas Portarlington Travers — Aunt Dahlia's lumbago-ridden
husband who collects antique silver
Homer Cream — American business tycoon
Adela Cream — Writes mystery stories
(Willie) Wilbert Cream — Handsome son of the Creams who
teaches romance languages at a university in America and
who collects antique silver. Is mistaken for his brother
Wilfred, a kleptomaniac known as Broadway Willie.
(Bobbie) Roberta Wickham — Redheaded beauty who is fond of
playing pranks and getting Bertie involved with them.
Although engaged to Bertie, she loves Kipper.
Phyllis Mills — Upjohn's pretty stepdaughter who talks baby-talk.
She is wanted to marry Willie.
Lady Wickham — Bobble's mother, widow of Sir Cuthbert
Poppet — Phyllis' dachshund
Bonzo Travers — Aunt Dahlia's son
Swordfish — Sir Roderick's pseudonym as Aunt Dahlia's butler
Augustus — Large black cat at Brinkley Court
In Jeeves's Times Bertie sees the announcement of his engagement to Bobbie
Wickham. Panic! But this is Bobbie's way of softening up her mother to
accept her engagement to Bertie's friend 'Kipper' Herring. And, of course,
Bobbie had forgotten to warn either Bertie or Kipper that she was going to
do this. Staying at Brinkley is Aubrey Upjohn, quondam HM of Bertie's and
Kipper's prep school, of the filthy food of which Kipper tells horror
stories. Kipper, on the staff of the Thursday Review, scathingly and
anonymously reviews a book about prep schools by this Upjohn. And dear
Bobbie, reading the final proof, sees that he has left out the splendid
stuff about the Malvern House food, and puts
it in, again without asking or warning Kipper. So Upjohn will see the
Thursday, and know who wrote the piece.
With Upjohn at Brinkley is his step-daughter Phyllis, rich (inherited from
her late mother), 'a well-stacked young featherweight' who is Aunt Dahlia's
goddaughter. There is a rich young American pursuing her and reading poetry
to her. He is believed to be the much-marrying playboy, 'Broadway Willie',
and Sir Roderick comes down to 'observe' him, and becomes a butler for the
purpose. Kipper will marry Bobbie, after a quarrel which drove both of them
in pique to get engaged to others (Phyllis and Bertie, for the record).
Jeeves is away shrimping at Heme Bay for most of the novel and Bertie has
to drive there and fetch him to solve all the problems, which he does,
finally, by putting the blame on the young master and labelling him as a
loony and kleptomaniac - not the first or last time for this drastic way
out in a last chapter. The plots creak a bit. Some of the writing is
'short'. Many of the images, quotations and verbal handsprings are
recognisably old. New and surprising is that Jeeves has taken Bertie to the
Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. Now, at last, they get that quotation from
Walter Pater right - it's 'ends' of the world that come on that head, not
'sorrows' as so often before.
Source: Richard Usborne. Plum Sauce. A P G Wodehouse Companion.