Saturday, 3 February 2018

Wodehouse Gems: I


P G Wodehouse's mastery of the English Language was quite unsurpassed.

Here's Bertie Wooster's description of Lady Malvern in Carry On, Jeeves.

It always brings a smile to my face. Instanter, as Bertie would say:-
Lady Malvern was a hearty, happy, healthy, overpowering sort of female, not so very tall but making up for it by measuring about six feet from the O. P. to the Prompt Side.

She fitted into my biggest arm-chair as if it had been built round her by someone who knew they were wearing arm-chairs tight about the hips that season.

She had bright, bulging eyes and a lot of yellow hair, and when she spoke she showed about fifty-seven front teeth. She was one of those women who kind of numb a fellow's faculties.

First published in  July, 2011.


Christopher Bellew said...

The expression OP to Prompt Side may puzzle some of your readers. Carry On Jeeves was published in 1925 when Wodehouse was collaborating with Guy Bolton writing musicals, so stage jargon would have been on his mind. OP stands for Opposite Prompt, ie, stage right.

Timothy Belmont said...

Marvellous! Many thanks, Christopher.

Demetrius said...

Why Malvern? In 1925 living in that area was Sir Edward Elgar, who in 1924 had been made Master Of The Kings Musick. Although then elderly and with his music being thought of the past he was still active, notably one of the first to appreciate the new electrical microphones for recording. Was Wodehouse at the "pop" end in that period having a dig at Elgar?