Category Archives: History

Betty Zane (Ohio River I) (1903)

I have a blog called “Zane Grey and me”. This is my review of the first book he wrote, “Betty Zane”. Betty Zane is one of Grey’s ancestors and also the heroine of this historical novel. It does not pretend to be unbiased or historically correct, but Zane has tried to make it as correct as his white male privilege allows.

Zane Grey and me

Heroism of Miss Elizabeth Zane, 1851 Popular Graphic Arts; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-2355

Charles Francis Press, New York, 1903

Parents’ Magazine Press, 1947

In this busy progressive age there are no heroes of the kind so dear to all lovers of chivalry and romance. There are heroes, perhaps, but they are the patient sad-faced kind, of whom few take cognizance as they hurry onward. But cannot we all remember some one who suffered greatly, who accomplished great deeds, who died on the battlefield–some one around whose name lingers a halo of glory? Few of us are so unfortunate that we cannot look backward on kith or kin and thrill with love and reverence as we dream of an act of heroism or martyrdom which rings down the annals of time like the melody of the huntsman’s horn, as it peals out on a frosty October morn purer and sweeter with each succeeding…

View original post 1,298 more words

MacShane, Gifford: The Hedgerow Schools of Ireland (2015)

So on a sunny summer afternoon, it was not unusual to see a priest walking up and down on the edge of a field for an hour or so, his hands waving, his mouth working, extolling the tenets of Catholicism to children who were hidden from sight. (Gifford MacShane)

Interview With Former British Paratrooper, Victor Gregg

Victor Gregg talks about his experiences during WWII. He states firmly that he blames only the decision makers for the atrocities of the war. The reason he has come forward at such a late time of his life is because he sees that nothing changes. The people are still being lumbered with the horrible decisions being made by governments. Gregg also states categorically that he is no pacifist, but that someone needs to speak up for all the victims.

Highly recommended.

an Gorta Mor (or The Great Irish Famine, 1845-1852)

“Hundreds of thousands throughout the Isle were dispossessed, and they trudged in weary lines to the port cities, hoping to find passage to America. With no food and little to no money, inestimable thousands died along the way and were buried in mass graves.”

Gifford MacShane, Author

Most of the time I find history boring. But every once in awhile, I stumble over something fascinating. And usually, that something makes me cry.

I’d heard quite a bit about the Irish Famine at different places along the way, like in English class in high school when we read Jonathan Swift’s essay A Modest Proposal (if you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend it. It gives an incredible satiric look at the British government’s feelings on “the Irish problem.” The problem, in short, was that there was such a thing as “the Irish”.)

At any rate, the subject cropped up now and again. But it wasn’t until I started writing my Donovan series that I realized how closely related I was to it. My father’s family emigrated from Ireland in the early 20th century, chased out by the British Army (or so the story goes). As I started…

View original post 675 more words

Junge, Traudl: Through the Final Hours (Bir Zur Letzten Stunde) (2002)

til siste slutt

Traudl’s brother Karl suffered from schizophrenia. After Hitler’s star rose in Germany, so did his ideas. This is the environment Traudl grew up surrounded with. When the government decided Karl had to be sterilised, the family thought it only right.

At the age of 21 Traudl was desperate for a change, for an opportunity to chase after her dream of becoming a dancer. When Albert Bormann suggested she get a job for the government she applied for one thinking she could pursue her dancing off-hours. But life did not turn out that way. Later she drifted into applying for a position as one of Hitler’s private secretaries and just happened to get it. She wasn’t especially qualified, she was just the first one through the door. She kind of drifts into a lot of things in the book.

Reading Traudl’s story puts me in mind of ending up with a cult. Hitler was an intense person who could turn even the best arguments on their heads. He was, the first couple of years, a kind of father figure to Traudl and made Traudl feel as though she was part of something special. Information beyond what Hitler and his compatriots provided was not allowed on the premises of the various bunkers and Berghof. Finally, Traudl was like many young people, available for the position of follower.

Then the picture begins to crack. The idealistic leader meets trouble and failure. His narcissism is showing more and more, but the brainwashed Traudl is so caught up in his personality and her own denial that she sticks with him until the bitter end.

Perhaps the way I’ve presented this autobiography reads as an attempt on Traudl’s part to excuse her own participation as part of Hitler’s staff. But I did not get that feeling while I read it. It does, however, present a very believable kind of human being. Perhaps I would have had more in common with her when I was 21 than I would like to admit.

The worst part of coming out for Traudl was having the neo-nazis come up to her to shake the hand that had shaken Hitler’s. For her that made a mockery of all of the suffering that he had been responsible for and that she, if indirectly, had enabled.

Swift, J.K.: Altdorf (The Forest Knights) (2011)

Cover design by Chris Ryan, collecula

“The Knights Hospitaller, also known as the Hospitallers, Order of Hospitallers, Knights of St John, Order of St John, and currently The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders during the Middle Ages.” (Wikipedia)

J. K. Swift writes historical fiction. This time he writes about the lives of ex-Hospitallers. What kind of person do you become after having been taken away from your parents at a young age and sent into the “Holy War” against those terrible heathen Jews and Muslims?

Like most people our ex-Hospitallers seem to be the same personality they were upon entering the Hospitallers. You know, just people – greedy, selfless, courageous, lonely and so on. Just people.

In the name of religion people sometimes do terrible things. Ignoring terrible actions carried out toward others is the most common one. To begin with Thomas ignores the plight of the citizens of Altdorf. But once the deeds of Duke Leopold of Habsburg touches closer to home, Thomas can no longer deny the unrighteousness of Leopold’s deeds.

Duke Leopold is a greedy man who wants to control the flow of merchandise through the pass of St. Gotthard. “The Gotthard Pass or St. Gotthard Pass (Italian: Passo del San Gottardo) (el. 2106 m) is a high mountain pass in Switzerland between Airolo in the canton of Ticino, and Göschenen in the canton of Uri, connecting the northern German-speaking part of Switzerland with the Italian-speaking part, along the route onwards to Milan.” (Wikipedia)

In The Empire of Man one even finds that “the College of Magic which studies Ghyran, the Lore of Life, is the Jade Order of Wizards. Jade Wizards, (also occasionally mistaken for druids to which their power is related), are powerful healers, who spend most of their time wandering the countryside of the Empire providing their services to rural communities. They construct monolithic stone circles around hidden groves where Ghyran is strongest, using them in their yearly rituals which they perform in order to channel their magic into the soil to provide fertility and abundance.” (Wikipedia) Seraina is a Priestess of the Old Religion, and the last Druid disciple of the Helvetii Celts. She has been gifted by the Great Weave to see what others cannot. In it she knows that she and Thomas will be needed in her people’s fight for freedom.

Part of my reason for digging a little into various sites had to do with the excellence of the novel. Altdorf made me curious about the background for the novel – beyond what the author tells. The whole area has a fascinating history and it was amazingly fun to discover that Altdorf (the area) is used in The Empire of Man.

Anyways, history and fantasy lesson over – except maybe a hint that you check out the background of the Wilhelm Tell myth – you know the whole shooting an apple off the son’s head story. It has relevance.

There is one scene that involves Pirmin that made a huge impression. Pirmin is a lovely character – full of life and enjoyment of life. Anyways, there is one scene that made me think – once again. Fantasy can do that to you. All of a sudden I see humanity in a new light or am reminded of a quality that some people do possess, even people I know.

The Forest Knights is a serial. You can walk away from the serial after Altdorf, but I believe you might regret it. I am going to get Morgarten myself – simply because I want to keep in touch with these people.

Harkness, Deborah: Shadow of Night (All Souls) (2012)

NPG 5994; Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke by Nicholas Hilliard
Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke by Nicholas Hilliard
watercolour on vellum, circa 1590: NPG 5994
Only for non-commercial use

A Discovery of Witches was one of the many books that my librarian, Ragnhild, recommended to me. I loved it and was highly motivated to read Shadow of Night. Now I have, and am left with a feeling of a book well-written. Deborah Harkness manages the difficult art that putting music to text is. Shadow of Night was one of those books that leaves my husband and children frustrated. I had trouble putting it down and being there for them. Sometimes I wonder if there ought to be a Books Anonymous.

One of my favorite things about Shadow of Night was the knowledge that Deborah showed in her telling of the tale of Diana and Matthew in 1590 Europe (especially England). There was a sense of reverence in the treatment of the milieu. Another excellent thing was my learning a new word. I don’t often have to use a dictionary while reading, but this time I got to. I love that. Her word was so perfect in its context as well (termagant). Thank you for that gift.

Being a 21st century Western woman in Elizabethan England was not easy for Diana. The world for women was so different back then. Being property cannot have made life pleasant for most. Diana left the modern world to seek help in mastering her magic and peace from persecution. What she ended up with was a world where humans were hunting witches.

While Matthew belonged to the richer part of society, Harkness also showed us the poorer side of these times. This was a time of changes in England. Farmers were losing their livelihood, people were moving to the cities seeking employment and poverty was rising. In fact, we are looking at the perfect recipe for a time where scapegoats were looked for. By now, wise women were equated with witch/devil/plagues/curses. Being different was dangerous and no-one was as different as a vampire and a witch together.

Looking for traces of Ashmole 782 turns out to be an extremely difficult task, hindered in part by Diana’s own challenges. Fortunately for Matthew and Diana they have Matthew’s friends (George Chapman, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Harriot, Sir Walter Raleigh and Lord Northumberland – Henry Percy) from the School of Night to help them.

Diana becomes acquainted with Mary Sidney (Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke). Together they work on Sidney’s alchemical projects.

Along with their own challenges in finding peace and education, Matthew’s role as spy for Queen Elizabeth and son of Phillipe de Claremont will bring them face to face with their own demons.

Flagg, Fannie: Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man (1992)

Cover photo: Corbis

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man was first published as Coming Attractions in 1981. I just had to add the cover for Coming Attractions because it represents coming of age so perfectly. That is in part what Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man is about – coming of age. Daisy Fay gets a typewriter from her grandmother. For those of you who are too young to understand the concept, this is what a typewriter looks like:

I learned to type on one of these and I imagine Fannie Flagg did too. That was what we had to work with in 1981.

What Fannie Flagg does this time is take us into the life of Daisy Fay. Idyllic is not exactly the word I would use for it. Instead we are shown a resilient girl that grows up in a troubled family. Her way of coping with the realities of her life bring us hilarious and sad situations. She gets into trouble time and again. Sometimes with good cause and sometimes due to the idiocy of the adults around her.

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man is yet another example of the quality of Fannie Flagg’s writing. I think this is the one that my dad liked the most, probably because of the similarities to his own life. Reading Fannie Flag leaves me with hope for a better future and love for the characters I have just said goodbye to.

Flagg, Fannie: Standing in the Rainbow (2002)

Cover photo: Corbis.

As a character in this book I can tell you that everything in it really did happen, so I can highly recommend it without any qualms whatsoever. With this quote from Mrs. Tot Whooten we are once again brought into the universe that one of my favorite authors has created for my and your pleasure.

Fannie Flagg has the gift, the gift I tend to on and on about without being able to define exactly what it is. Most of us have probably experienced the Author Gift at least once. You know those times when you are dragged into a piece of writing while struggling to keep yourself IRL at the same time. What a wonderful time to be a Reader.

Me, I love Aunt Dorothy, our radio-host, and source of information about the happenings in Southern Missouri. She is as complex and well-rounded as a written character can be. Finding her own way around her experiences has made her into the loving and straight-forward (Southern style) person that she is. There is something about the Southern style that is appealing even to this Viking-hearted Norwegian.

The winner!” screamed Ward McIntire and the audience was on its feet applauding. What glory. What a triumph. Five minutes later Bobby ran into the Trolley Car Diner with gum still sticking to his eyelashes and ears, waving his free-pass book in the air, yelling, “JIMMY … I WON … I DIDN’T GET RATTLED. I WON!” But before Jimmy had a chance to congratulate him he had to run out the door, headed for the drugstore to tell his father. When he got home his mother had to use kerosene to get all the gum out of his hair, and he used up all twenty-five passes in less than a week taking everybody to the movies but he didn’t care. He had blown the biggest bubble in the history of the contest, people said. Maybe the biggest in the entire state. From that day on he felt special.

How can you not love characters like that. Tot, Bobby, Aunt Dorothy, the Oatman Family, Hamm, Charlie and Anna Lee are all characters that interact and add to the quality of Standing in the Rainbow. I hope you get as much pleasure out of reading Standing in the Rainbow as I did.

Flagg, Fannie: Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! (1998)

Fannie Flagg is four years younger than my mother and six years younger than my dad. As such, many of their experiences have been similar. Technological advances have followed the same tempo even though they are from different countries.

Cover photo: Elliot Erwitt/Magnum

The jump between the media world in the 1940’s, represented by Aunt Dorothy’s radio program, and the media world of the 1970’s, represented by Dena Nordstrøm’s television job, is immense yet non-existent. Gossip and social mores are often more important than politics and the “larger” issues.

Once again Fannie Flagg takes us to the lives of people living in the South of US. This time we visit Missouri and the phenomenon “passing”. Racial passing refers to a person classified as a member of one racial/social group attempting to be accepted as a member of a different racial/social group (Wikipedia).

It is one thing for me as a whiteish woman to sit here wondering at a world that makes so many of its citizens feel they need to hide their origins. To me it is an abstract exercise. For others it is not. People (probably myself included) attach shame to attributes that come with birth (whether these be physical or sociological). Imagine the fear of discovery of that “terrible/uncivilised/evil/…” quality. Sometimes these fears are founded and sometimes (fortunately) they are not.

Unravelling the mysteries of the past brings about surprises and feelings of betrayal, loss and love with the characters of Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! Fannie Flagg gives us an opportunity to face our own prejudices in a manner that brings us into the world of gossip and suspense that media is (whether it be new or old). As with Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! is “utterly irresistible” (Time). You will miss something truly wonderful if you choose not to read this novel.

Flagg, Fannie: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987)

My first meeting with Fannie Flagg (or Patricia Neal) was on the film-creen. I am trying to remember just how far back she and I go, and I believe I might have a tentative meeting period set at Grease the movie (with Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta).

When I encountered her literary work I had become an adult. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe became a movie. I got to meet the two friends Idgie and Ruth whose experiences made me laugh and cry.

Cover photo: Arthur Rothstein

Another few years down the road, I picked up the novel and fell in love again. Fannie Flagg became one of my favorite authors just a few pages into the book. And now, just a few weeks ago my dad fell in love as well, and not just with Fried Green Tomatoes. Having read one of her novels, he just had to borrow the rest of the Fannie Flagg novels I have in my library.

Part of his love for her work lay in the time period described. These were tough times in the US and the rest of the world. They weren’t called the depression years for nothing. Alabama struggled with recognizing women and non-christians/whites as equals.

I would have wanted Idgie for a friend. Her love, fierceness and loyalty toward Ruth is priceless. Ruth needs someone like Idgie to be able to see beyond the prison that life made for her.

I love the humour in the novel. When the search for Frank Bennett is on and Sheriff Kilgore eats at the cafe is priceless. Another moment occurs right after when the Sheriff steps into the beauty parlor with his men and gets thrown out all embarrassed at having overstepped the gender boundaries.

The story of the storyteller, Cleo Threadgoode, and her listener, Evelyn Couch, is heart-warming and uplifting. I still carry the images of the changes in Evelyn from the movie in my head. Her change in the novel are just as immense.

Flagg managed the job of jumping between the storyteller and her memories. Her writing flows, boy does it flow. If you want to read a novel about life, then Fannie Flagg is the author to read.

The film Fried Green Tomatoes came out in 1991 and is based on the novel.


  • Oscars: Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
  • American Comedy Award: Nominated for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) and Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
  • Golden Globe: Nominated for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
  • USC Scripter Award: Nominated
  • WGA Award (Screen): Nominated for Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
  • GLAAD Media Award: Won Outstanding Film
  • Wise Owl Award: Won Television and Theatrical Film Fiction
  • USC Scripter Award: Won


  • BAFTA: Nominated for Best Actress and Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • BMI Film Music Award: Won
  • Young Artist Award: Won Best Young Actress Under Ten in a Motion Picture

Ford, Jamie: The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (2009)

Wow. Sad in a happy way this novel. I’ve read the Norwegian version of it. There are a couple of translation hiccups but the translator has done an excellent job.

People are strange and we have a dark side, a side we seldom like seen in the light of day. The treatment of Japanese-Americans during WWII illustrates this dark side of humanity. Letting ourselves be ruled by our fears is incredibly tempting. I cannot count the times I have allowed my own fears to rule my decisions.

The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives an excellent account of what it must have been like to be a child during this time. Henry (Chinese-American) has to watch his father be completely ruled by his old hatreds and fears of the Japanese. Seeing him forget that people who just happen to be of Japanese heritage are also Americans was difficult for Henry. Falling in love with Keiko and having to stand up to his father while 12/13 years old must have been horrifyingly difficult for a young boy. Yet Henry did.

Such courage.

The beauty of this novel lies in Ford’s touching depiction of a difficult subject. While the novel is fiction the internment was not. Panama Hotel is there and people were placed in camps with razor wire around them and soldiers pointing at the prisoners with armed weapons. This is also who we are.

Pratchett, Terry: Dodger (2012)

Premerie of Terry Pratchett's Dodger - Adapted by Stephen Briggs
Studio Theatre Club presents “Dodger”

YES! I’ve read Dodger. Genius once again. Way to go Terry!

While reading Dodger, it is easy to see where Pratchett got his inspiration for the Discworld from. We get a behind-the-scenes look at the various fictional and real characters that have shown up in various forms in his novels.

I am certain there is a whole sleuth of People out there waiting to catch Pratchett and his Alzheimer out. Phooey.

Dodger from 22 to 26 January 2013

Terry attacks Dodger in the same way he has written most of his other books: With a great sense of humour and tons of warmth.

Pratchett’s portrayal of Victorian London leaves out nothing when it comes to poverty and the struggle for survival. Not everyone who came to London met with good fortune. In fact, most were probably on the wrong end of dark deeds done and would themselves have preferred to be on the other side of that act.

Stench, filth, disease and poverty were rampant in the less than lovely city of the 1800s. However, it does make for an excellent backdrop to Dodger’s dealings with fictional characters and characters from history books. Not all of them belong in the era portrayed, but Pratchett isn’t exactly known for writing historical novels. As the quote on his page states: “In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find…”

Dodger is a delightful character (as well as being the title of the book). He ties the various stories together in his fight to keep the mysterious love of his life, Simplicity, out of the hands of her assailants. This tosher uses his place of work to aid in his heroic deeds. The sewers of London have never smelled better.


Stage adaptation by Stephen Briggs

Wodehouse, P.G.: Jeeves and Wooster (1915-1974)

From the first series

I believe I have said a thing or two about British humour and here I go again – YEAH! I LOVE British humour. It beats every other country’s, including my own.

From 1990-1993 I had the great pleasure of watching Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie play the delightful characters of Jeeves and Wooster. Jeeves and Wooster are characters that were devised in the brilliant mind of P.G. Wodehouse and thankfully the television series retains the goofyness of Wooster and the dry, sarcastic and brilliant ways of his valet Jeeves.

It was love at first sight and set me wondering if this Wodehouse was worth checking out. YES. The insanity of the characters of the British upper-class is carried through all of Wodehouse’s stories about this eccentric duo.

For once, I will recommend that you both watch the series and read the books (audio or otherwise).

P.G. Wodehouse 1904 (23 yrs)

P.G. Wodehouse was an English humourist who wrote plays, novels, short stories, poems, song lyrics and journalistic articles. His Jeeves and Blandings Castle short stories and novels began in 1915 (Extricating Young Gussie). Wodehouse continued writing about the quirky characters in this world until 1974 (Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen), the premier character being Jeeves.

The inferiority complex of old Sippy (1926)
Illustration by Charles Crombie

Jeeves, wonderful Jeeves. Jeeves is the valet of Bertram Wilberforce Wooster (“Bertie” to friends). This means that Jeeves is the personal servant of Wooster. However, Wooster does at times lend him out to friends as a butler. Which is why there are more stories with Jeeves than there are with Wooster.

Basically, the plot of each story is that either Bertie, or one of his friends, gets into trouble. After they have thoroughly enmeshed themselves, Jeeves rescues them from themselves. They come to Jeeves (or ask Bertie to ask him) for advice on some problem or other.

I hope you will enjoy this zany duo as much as I have. Get the television series, get the novels and get the audio-books. They are all hilarious. I haven’t seen the films listed below, so you will have to get a review of them elsewhere.

As with Sherlock and Christie’s characters, Wodehouse’s have been depicted a great many times (see below).

Novels and short stories

The Man With Two Left Feet
Photo Credit Wikipedia

The Man with Two Left Feet (1917) – a collection of short stories of which one of them is about Bertie and Jeeves.

My Man Jeeves

My Man Jeeves (1919): A collection of short stories by Wodehouse. Four of these stories were about Jeeves and Wooster. One of the others – Helping Freddie – was rewritten for the US market in a collection of short stories called Carry On, Jeeves. Its name was changed to Fixing it for Freddie and Jeeves and Wooster made an appearance.

  • Leave It to Jeeves, was reprinted in Carry on, Jeeves as The Artistic Career of Corky: “Bertie’s friend Corky fancies himself a portrait painter but until a commission materializes he is totally dependent on his rich uncle for support. Now Corky wants to marry and there is the delicate matter of how to introduce the girl to his uncle without getting cut off. Bertie turns to Jeeves to come up with a plan. He comes up with a good one and it works but not quite in the way expected.”
  • Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest: “Lady Malvern, a friend of Wooster’s dreaded Aunt Agatha, drops in one morning and manages to deposit her twenty something son Motty to his care while she tours the country and its prisons to gather material for a book.  Jeeves is distant at the moment because Wooster has taken to an unsuitable hat and tie. It turns out that Motty intends to live in a most riotous manner while mum is away creating all manner of complications. Eventually Jeeves comes to the rescue.” (Listening Books)
  • Jeeves and the Hard-boiled Egg: “An adventure involving Jeeves, Wooster and ‘Bicky’, whose uncle, the Duke of Chiswick, has the potential to be a wealthy benefactor to his nephew. Unfortunately, the Duke is what’s known in the right circles as a ‘hard-boiled egg’ – ie ‘notoriously the most prudent spender in England’. When Bicky contacts Bertie, our jaunt begins.” (Listening Books)
  • The Aunt and the Sluggard: “Rocky Todd is the laziest American on Long Island. His aunt desires to experience the glamor of New York. Now, when Rocky is pushed into the night life on pain of disinheritance, it threatens to destroy him, (or at least, inconvenience him irreparably). Can Jeeves find a way to serve the aunt and save the sluggard?” (Listening Books)

The Inimitable Jeeves

The Inimitable Jeeves (1923)—A semi-novel consisting of eighteen chapters, originally published as eleven short stories (some of which were split for the book):

  • Jeeves in the Springtime: “Bingo Little is in love with Mabel and wants to marry her. He needs his uncle’s approval so that the latter will not only not cut off his allowance, but will, in fact, increase it.”
  • Aunt Agatha Takes the Count (Pearls Mean Tears): “Aunt Agatha intends to engage Bertie to “a nice quiet girl” named Aline Hemmingway. Bertie is forced to spend some time with Aline and her brother, Rev. Sidney Hemmingway, but finds them dreary. After Sidney loses money at the races, he borrows £100 from Bertie with Aline’s pearl necklace on deposit. Coincidentally, Aunt Agatha’s pearl necklace goes missing.” (Wikipedia)
  • Scoring Off Jeeves (Bertie Gets Even): Aunt Agatha’s goal for Bertie is that he marry. She feels he is a wastrel. The chosen girl is Honoria Glossop. Honoria Glossop is the daughter of the renowned nerve specialist Sir Roderick Glossop and his wife Lady Glossop.
  • Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch: Aunt Agatha is still trying to marry off Bertie to Honoria. In fact Bertie seems to have become engaged to her. But when Sir Roderick comes to check out his daughter’s fiancee he finds himself wondering if Bertie is completely loony.
  • Jeeves and the Chump Cyril: “Aunt Agatha breaks her icy silence, and asks Bertie to look after a fellow Englishman, Cyril, who is visiting in New York. She only has one stipulation: keep Cyril off the American stage. But by the time Bertie gets the imperiling word, Cyril lands a part in a musical comedy. And with Jeeves turning a bit of a cold shoulder after a bust up over some purple socks, what’s a Wooster to do?” (Classic Tales)
  • Comrade Bingo: “Richard “Bingo” Little falls in love with the daughter of a left-wing (probably communist or socialist) leader called Charlotte Corday Rowbotham. In an attempt to get close to her, Little joins the group, called the Heralds of the Red Dawn, whose aims are to “massacre the bourgeoisie, sack Park Lane and disembowel the hereditary aristocracy”. This is more than a little at odds with our chums Jeeves and Wooster.” (Listening Books)
  • The Great Sermon Handicap: Bertie’s cousin Eustace offers to let Bertie in on a money-making scheme that he and Claude have come up with. Bingo is already at Twing. Bertie and Jeeves decide to og down to Twing and find out what this money-making scheme is all about.
  • The Purity of the Turf: “Bertie’s Uncle George wishes to marry a young waitress. Aunt Agatha is dismayed and, through Bertie, offers the girl ₤100 to break off the engagement; instead, however, Bertie meets Maud Wilberforce, who has a connection with his uncle.” (Wikipedia)
  • The Metropolitan Touch: Bingo has once again fallen in love, but she does not seem the least bit interested in him. He asks that Bertie and Jeeves come help him win the heart of the love of his life.
  • The Delayed Exit of Claude and Eustace: “Aunt Agatha wants to pack her wayward nephews Claude and Eustace Wooster off to Africa but both have fallen in love with a singer at a nightclub Bertie took them to the night before, and sneak back from the docks to Bertie’s place to pursue her.” (Wikipedia)
  • Bingo and the Little Woman (Bridegroom Wanted): “Bingo Little wants to marry a waitress so needs his uncle’s blessing. Bertie is pushed into helping him by pretending to be author Rosie M. Banks again.” (Wikipedia)

Carry on, Jeeves

Carry on, Jeeves (1925)—Ten stories:

  • Jeeves Takes Charge: Uncle Willoughby guest-stars in this story. The one constant in Bertie’s life is Aunt Agatha’s attempt to marry him off to a suitable young woman.  Once again she is at it and Jeeves has to step in and save Bertie.
  • The Artistic Career of Corky (Leave It To Jeeves): “The first fully recognizable Jeeves and Bertie story. Bertie’s cousin arrives in New York lured by the bright lights of Broadway, forcing his dreaded Aunt Agatha to make an unscheduled visit to America. A struggling artist needs help in a romantic intrigue.” (Listening Books)
  • Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest: “Bertie receives a surprise visit from the writer Lady Malvern and her son Wilmot. A friend of Bertie’s Aunt Agatha, Lady Malvern requests that Wilmot stay with Bertie for a couple of weeks whilst she is away in America. Bertie agrees, to find that the seemingly mild-mannered Wilmot may have a wilder side, especially when it comes to alcohol!” (Listening Books)
  • Jeeves and the Hard-boiled Egg: “An adventure involving Jeeves, Wooster and ‘Bicky’, whose uncle, the Duke of Chiswick, has the potential to be a wealthy benefactor to his nephew. Unfortunately, the Duke is what’s known in the right circles as a ‘hard-boiled egg’ – ie ‘notoriously the most prudent spender in England’. When Bicky contacts Bertie, our jaunt begins.” (Listening Books)
  • The Aunt and the Sluggard: “Rocky Todd is the laziest American on Long Island. His aunt desires to experience the glamor of New York. Now, when Rocky is pushed into the night life on pain of disinheritance, it threatens to destroy him, (or at least, inconvenience him irreparably). Can Jeeves find a way to serve the aunt and save the sluggard?” (Listening Books)
  • The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy: Jeeves has a niece whose name is Mabel. She “falls in love with Charles Edward “Biffy” Biffen during an ocean voyage. An old friend of Bertie’s, Biffy is so absent-minded that he subsequently forgets everything but her first name and that he successfully proposed to her. Feeling she has been toyed with, Mabel breaks off the engagement.” (Wikipedia)
  • Without the Option: Bertie comes into trouble with the law due to a misadventures involving a policeman’s helmet. He then has the great misfortune to meet a girl with intentions toward him. Jeeves will have to come to the rescue once again.
  • Fixing It for Freddie: In its original version Fixing It for Freddie was called Helping Freddie. Helping Freddie did not contain Bertie and Jeeves, but in Fixing It for Freddie they appear. Bertie attempts to reunite his friend Freddie With ex-fiancee Elizabeth. Inevitably things go wrong.
  • Clustering Round Young Bingo: “Bingo Little, friend of butler Jeeves’ master Bertie Wooster and a member of the Drones Club, is also a hopeless romantic. Our heroes Jeeves and Wooster often try to help him into or out of romantic entanglements but to little avail, or at least they often make matters worse!” (Listening Books)
  • Bertie Changes His Mind: Bertie Changes His Mind is the only story that is narrated by Jeeves. In it Bertie decides he wants children and in order to do so he has to marry. Jeeves is very much against such an arrangement and we get so see just how much control Jeeves has over Bertie.

Russian Very Good Jeeves
Very Good Jeeves
1996 Russian translation

Very Good, Jeeves (1930) — Eleven stories:

  • Jeeves and the Impending Doom: “Bertie Wooster finds himself on a losing streak and lands himself at the mercy of his aunts, Dahlia and Agatha, and only Jeeves is capable of extricating him from disaster.” (Amazon)
  • The Inferiority Complex of Old SippyAs usual one of Bertie’s friends need the help of Bertie (well really Jeeves). Sipperly is in love with the poetess Gwendolen Moon. Add to that, his ex-headmaster, Waterbury, insistings that Sipperley insert his writings into the magazine. But Sipperly’s inferiority complex keeps him from both tasks. Jeeves and Wooster are as usual at odds about Bertie’s acquisitions.
  • Jeeves and the Yule-tide SpiritBertie Wooster receives an invitation to spend Christmas at Skeldings Hall, home of Bobbie Wickham and Lady Wickham. Aunt Agatha telephones Bertie to inform him that Sir Roderick Glossop will also be at Skeldings, and she wishes Bertie to make a good impression on Sir Roderick. (Bertie had previously been engaged to Sir Roderick’s daughter Honoria Glossop.) (Wikipedia)
  • Jeeves and the Song of SongsTuppy greatest desire is to become betrothed to Cora Bellinger. Sadly, he has abandoned Aunt Dahlia’s daughter Angela and Aunt Dahlia is not pleased. Jeeves is called in to help.
  • Episode of the Dog McIntosh (Jeeves and the Dog McIntosh): Aunt Agatha has an Aberdeen called McIntosh. For some reason she has left Bertie in charge of him. Bertie discovers that one of his guests, Roberta Wickham, has given McIntosh to the stage producer Blumenfield’s son and is desperate to get McIntosh back. Once again Jeeves comes to the rescue.
  • The Spot of Art (Jeeves and the Spot of Art)While in the US, Bertie and Jeeves meet Tuppy Glossop who is again up to his shenanigans. Meanwhile, Bertie is currently engaged to Gwladys Pendlebury, who like all his girlfriends, brings trouble into Bertie’s life. Add in Bertie’s troublesome cousins shipped to him by Aunt Agatha and Jeeves has his hands full.
  • Jeeves and the Kid ClementinaBobby Wickham gets Bertie take her and her kid cousin, Clementina, to dinner, and also to get him to drive Clementina back to school, where he is caught by a policeman while sitting in a tree on the school property.
  • The Love That Purifies (Jeeves and the Love That Purifies): Aunt Dahlia’s chef Anatole is the envy of her friends and aquaintances. She has entered into a wager that places her in danger of losing the lovely Anatole for a while. Obviously she does not want this to happen and asks Bertie (or more specifically Jeeves) for help.
  • Jeeves and the Old School ChumBingo Little has finally settled into married bliss in an inherited estate by Norwich. Mrs. Bingo’s friend, Laura Pyke, visits the newlyweds and it appears as if she and Bingo do not become fast friends. Bertie brings Jeeves along to visit the couple.
  • The Indian Summer of an UncleAunt Agatha is a very class-conscious woman and when Uncle George falls in love with a mere waitress she sends Bertie and Jeeves to solve this case of what she considers a grasping woman.
  • The Ordeal of Young Tuppy (Tuppy Changes His Mind): Tuppy Glossop seems to fall in love all the time and Bertie and Jeeves have to come ablazing to save him from himself. This time he has chosen a dog enthousiast.

Thank You, Jeeves
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thank You, Jeeves (1934)—The first full-length Jeeves novel

As you might have guessed by now, Jeeves pretty much runs Bertie’s life. Every once in a while Bertie rebels and this time it takes the form of playing the banjolele. Jeeves is, to put it mildly, displeased with his boss and leaves his service for that of one of Bertie’s friends.

Jeeves’ replacement Brinkley is not at all up to Jeeves’ high standards and he and Bertie come to heads several times throughout the story. When Bertie comes into contact with Jeeves again through his friend Chummy things are off and running.

Right Ho, Jeeves
Right Ho, Jeeves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right Ho, Jeeves (1934) (US title: Brinkley Manor)

We are back at Brinkley Court the home of Aunt Dahlia (Bertie’s favorite aunt). Once again we are entangled in confusing relationships and expectations from relatives. Bertie decides that he is much better qualified to give advice to his friends and forbids Jeeves to interfere. But we all know that Bertie is probably the least qualified person on this planed to give advice on relationships and he begs Jeeves to swoop in and save the day once more.

The Code of the Woosters - Russian Cover
The Code of the Woosters – Russian Cover
1992 translation

The Code of the Woosters (1938)

As with all of Wodehouse’s novels about Jeeves and Wooster The Code of the Woosters is a satiric look at pre-WWII upper-classes and their shenanigans. This time Aunt Dahlia desperately wants a cow-creamer. Until writing this article I did not know what a cow creamer was. Now I do:

w5118_cow_creamer_1064_generalIt seems this cow-creamer should have belonged to Uncle Tom, but, instead, was purchased by Sir Watkyn Bassett. “Aunt Dahlia insists that Bertie steal it back, but Sir Watkyn and his companion Rodrick Spode are on to him. To make matters worse, Stephanie Byng also has an ingenious plot to endear her fiance to her uncle (none other than Sir Watkyn) that entails Bertie stealing the cow-creamer. And she’s willing to use blackmail. Damned if he does the deed and damned if he doesn’t (or rather beaten to a pulp by Spode) Bertie needs Jeeves’s assistance more desperately than ever.” (Wodehouse Russia)

1st edition cover
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Joy in the Morning (1946) (US title: Jeeves in the Morning)

“Bertie is persuaded to brave the home of his fearsome Aunt Agatha and her husband Lord Worplesdon, knowing that his former fiancée, the beautiful and formidably intellectual Lady Florence Craye will also be in attendance. What ensues will come to be remembered as The Steeple Bumpleigh Horror, with Bertie under constant threat of engagement to Craye, violence from her oafish suitor Stilton Cheesewright, the unfortunate interventions of her young brother Edwin and unnamed peril from the acid tongue of Aunt Agatha. Only the masterful Jeeves can save the day.” (Wikipedia)

1st US edition cover
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Mating Season (1949)

“Having dispatched Aunt Agatha’s young son Thos to his seaside Borstal, Bertie Wooster intends to pay a visit to Deverill Hall, Hampshire, to lend a hand with the village entertainment. Before he sets off, his old pal Catsmeat has a favour to beg: will he ensure that his beloved Gertude is never alone with the eligible Esmond Haddock? Bertie agrees. He must also ensure that the Deverill aunts, of which there are many, think highly of Gussie Fink-Nottle so that the engagement between Gussie and the dreadful Madeline Bassett remains intact. So Bertie, fearless to the end, poses as Gussie for the duration. So far, so complicated. The plot thickens even further, however, when ‘Gussie’ awakes the next morning only to be told that there is a new guest at Deverill: someone called Bertie Wooster…” (Russian Wodehouse Society)

Ring for Jeeves
Ring for Jeeves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ring for Jeeves (1953)—Only novel without Bertie (US title: The Return of Jeeves), based on the play Come On, Jeeves: what is the opening chapter of the UK edition becomes chapter 5 in the US edition, with other chapters being re-arranged accordingly (Wikipedia)

“The story opens with Jeeves’s employer, Bertie Wooster, having enrolled in a school that teaches the idle rich how to fend for themselves. In his absence he has allowed Jeeves to offer his services to William “Bill” Rowcester, the impoverished 9th Earl of Rowcester, whose stately home, Rowcester Abbey, is an encumbrance for which the Earl is seeking a buyer. Jeeves becomes embroiled in a complicated affair involving ‘fake’ bookies, stolen gems, a wealthy American widow and a big game hunter, but, as in all Jeeves novels, the imperturbable valet succeeds in resolving matters to the satisfaction of all parties.” (Wikipedia)

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit
Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit (1954) (US title: Bertie Wooster Sees It Through)

“Bertie gets himself into an utter pickle when he and Jeeves share Aunt Dahlia’s hospitality with the loathesome G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (aka Stilton) and his on/off fiancee Florence. Add to this combination a fake plot to rob Aunt Dahlia of her pearls and the scene is set for calamity…” (Russian Wodehouse Society)

1st UK edition
Photo credit: Wikipedia

A Few Quick Ones (1959) — One short story in a book of ten

The plot of Doing Clarence a Bit of Good (1958) became the basis for Jeeves Makes an Omelette. (A Brief Guide to Jeeves and Wooster)

Aunt Dahlia sends Bertie off on a mission again. In order to get Cornelia Forthergill to write a piece for Dahlia’s magazine Mylady’s Budoir he is going to have to get rid of Cornelia’s father-in-law’s painting Venus. What could possibly go wrong?

Jeeves in the Offing
Jeeves in the Offing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jeeves in the Offing (1960) (US title: How Right You Are, Jeeves)

Previously Bertie and Sir Roderick Glossop have not seen eye to eye but Jeeves in the Offing sees a change in their relationship. The two of them have met when Bertie seeks solace at his Aunt Dahlia’s due to Jeeves going on holiday. Plenty of trouble lands at Brinkley Court at the same time as Bertie and Bertie is going to have a struggle to fit all the pieces together.


Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (1963)

Once again matrimonial bliss is threatened while Bertie stays at Totleigh Towers. He is not at fault. Instead Medeline Fink-Nottle puts Gussie on a vegetarian diet. Various other plots need to be solved by Jeeves, such as winning a fiance, artwork and culinary attractions.

Jeeves and the Greasy Bird first published in Playboy
Jeeves and the Greasy Bird
first published 1965-12 Playboy (US) / 1967-01 Argosy (UK)

Plum Pie (1966) — One short story in a book of nine

Jeeves and the Greasy Bird: As usual one of Bertie’s friends is having a problem with his love-life. Honoria has to get married before Sir Roderick’s fiance will marry him. Aunt Dahlia and the duo get involved in getting Honoria and Blair Eggleston (young Author who writes for aunt Dahlia’s magasine) together.

Much Obliged Jeeves

Much Obliged, Jeeves (1971) (US title: Jeeves and the Tie That Binds)

“Political dynamite threatens to explode in Market Snodbury. At Junior Ganymede, the top club for gentlemen’s gentlemen, each member is instructed to write into a famous book the ghastly habits and foibles of their employers, as a warning, and possibly a deterrent, to those entering their employ. Unsurprisingly, the celebrated work contains numerous pages about the eccentricities of one Bertram Wooster. Imagine the horror if the book fell into the wrong hands…” (Russian Wodehouse Society)

“The two editions have slightly different endings. Wodehouse’s American editor gave the US edition its title and rewrote the last page, adding Jeeves’ disclosure about the eighteen pages from the Junior Ganymede Club Book, and his expressed desire to remain permanently in Wooster’s employment.” (Wikipedia)

1st Edition
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen (1974) (US title: The Cat-nappers) – Wodehouse’s last Jeeves and Wooster novel completed by him before his death in 1975.

Bertie has discovered a mysterious rash and is advised by his doctor to retire to the country to recover. Once in Maiden Eggesford with Jeeves and his aunt Dahlia chaos and confusion ensues, this time involving horses and cats.

Most of these stories are available for free on the net.


Thank you, jeeves - film 1936Thank You, Jeeves! (1936) — Arthur Treacher as Jeeves, and David Niven as Bertie, meet a girl and help her brother stop two spies trying to get his secret plans. The film has almost nothing to do with the book of that title. Although Treacher looks the part, the script calls on him to play the character as unhelpful and rather unpleasant, with none of the trademark brilliance of the literary Jeeves.

Step Lively, Jeeves! (1937) — two swindlers con Arthur Treacher as Jeeves, claiming he has a fortune waiting for him in America, where Jeeves meets some gangsters. Bertie does not appear, Jeeves is portrayed as a naive bumbler, and the film has nothing to do with any Wodehouse story.

By Jeeves (2001) — A recorded performance of the musical, released as a video (with UK Martin Jarvis as Jeeves and US John Scherer as Bertie). It also aired on television.


Stageplay Thank You Jeeves

Come On, Jeeves (opened 1954, still presented from time to time as of 2008 under its name or as Ring for Jeeves)—A 1952 play by Guy Bolton and Wodehouse (adapted into the 1953 novel Ring for Jeeves), opened 1954 in Worthing, England (cast unknown), published in 1956.

(Come On, Jeeves—1952 play with Guy Bolton, adapted 1953 into Ring for Jeeves, produced 1954, published 1956)


The world of wooster
The World of Wooster (1965-1967)
Ian Carmichael as Wooster and Dennis Price as Jeeves

The World of Wooster (30 May 1965 to 17 November 1967, 20 episodes of 30 minutes)—A half-hour comedy series for BBC1 (with Dennis Price as Jeeves, and Ian Carmichael as Bertie, plus Derek Nimmo playing Bingo Little).

Jeeves and Wooster (22 April 1990 to 20 June 1993, 23 episodes of 55 minutes)—A hit ITV series starring double-act Fry and Laurie (with Stephen Fry as Jeeves, and Hugh Laurie as Bertie).

By Jeeves - musical


Jeeves (22 April 1975 to 24 May 1975, 38 performances)—An unsuccessful musical loosely based on Wodehouse, opened in London (with Michael Aldridge as Jeeves, and David Hemmings as Bertie). Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics & Book by Alan Ayckbourn and based on the Wodehouse book: “Code of The Woosters.”

By Jeeves (1 May 1996 to 12 February 1997; 28 October 2001 to 30 December 2001, 73 performances)—A more successful complete rewrite of the earlier version, opened in London (with Malcolm Sinclair as Jeeves, and Steven Pacey as Bertie), and premiered in the U.S. in November 1996 (with Richard Kline as Jeeves, and John Scherer as Bertie). It was produced again in 2001 on Broadway (with Martin Jarvis as Jeeves, and Scherer as Bertie), with one recorded performance released as a video film and aired on TV.

Right Ho Jeeves - BBC Radio


What Ho, Jeeves! (1972 to 1981)—A popular BBC Radio 4 series adapting various Jeeves stories (with Michael Hordern as Jeeves, and Richard Briers as Bertie).

The Code of the Woosters (2006)—A BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of The Code of the Woosters (with Andrew Sachs as Jeeves, and Marcus Brigstocke as Bertie).


What Ho - Gods of the abyss
Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill: “What Ho, Gods of the Abyss!”

In Alan Moore’s comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, Jeeves and Bertie appear in the segment “What Ho, Gods of the Abyss?” in which elements of Wodehouse are mixed with H.P. Lovecraft. Bertie recounts the story of the arrival of Mi-Go to Brinkley court and the possession of Aunt Dahlia by Cthulhu. Jeeves once again saves the day and drives off the Lovecraftian menaces.

pgw logo


The plaque, for P G Wodehouse, is fixed to a house on the north west side of Walton Street opposite St Saviour’s church.

1974: Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) at the age of 93

2000: The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize was established