Thursday, October 14, 2010

Damsel in Distress? Wodehouse to the rescue!


‘Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in’. 
Evelyn Waugh

Any one of Wodehouse’s works must feature in your list of books to read before you die. And if you’re not a very serious reader, I would suggest you pick any book on Wooster and Jeeves (the butler I wish I had! Carry on Jeeves) but in case you can’t get hold of Jeeves, A Damsel in Distress would do brilliantly.

Wodehouse stories revolve around British aristocracy, life in English country houses and golf. There will be a myriad of characters, each one with eccentric habits who find themselves in situations so absurd it’ll blow your mind off!

Percy's Hat goes flying!
Take this book for instance. The story opens at Belpher Castle, home to Lord Marshmoreton and his crazy family. His sister, Lady Caroline Byng wants her step-son, Reggie, to marry her brother’s daughter, Maud. Reggie is in love with Alice Faraday, Lord Marshmoreton’s secretary who is helping him to write his memoirs, a task Marshmoreton abhors (he would rather tend to his rose garden). Maud, Lord Marshmoreton’s only daughter, is in love with a young man whom she had met in Wales a year ago. And then there is Percy, Maud’s brother, heir of Belpher Castle.  He fits the aristocratic definition perfectly and has a similar stance as his aunt, Lady Caroline, in almost all matters.

Enter George who not only, unwillingly, becomes an accomplice to Maud’s escape from Percy but also sends his hat flying off his head in London (why is Maud escaping from her own brother?). Who is George? He’s an American music composer who happens to be in London with his performers and runs into Maud, one fine day, while sitting in his taxi. One thing leads to another and George finds himself madly in love with Maud. So much in love that he is willing to scale any walls, even those of Belpher Castle, hanging onto bedsheets for his dear life!

Hanging onto dear life!
Will George and Maud get together? Will Reggie be able to convince his step-mother that his heart desires Alice Faraday? Will Lord Marshmoreton finish his memoirs at the cost of his rose garden? Will Percy rule Belpher Castle with an iron fist?

Curious? Read the book!

Photographs (Percy's Hat & Hanging onto Dear life): Google Images