Montague "Monty" Bodkin (also referred to as Montrose) is a recurring fictional character in three novels of English comic writer P. G. Wodehouse, being a wealthy young member of the Drones Club, tall, slender and lissom, well-dressed, well-spoken, impeccably polite, and generally in some kind of romantic trouble.
Monty is featured in:
- Heavy Weather (1933) - a Blandings Castle novel
- The Luck of the Bodkins (1935)
- Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin (1972) - quoted as "Montrose" instead of "Montague"
Life and character
When we first meet Monty Bodkin at the start of Heavy Weather, he is employed by Lord Tilbury as assistant editor of Tiny Tots, one of the many imprints of the mighty Mammoth Publishing Company, his uncle Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe having prevailed upon Tilbury to give him the job at a public dinner. Monty does not work, however, because of any need for income; as he himself explains, there are "wheels within wheels". He is in love with Gertrude Butterwick but her father, named J. G. Butterwick in this novel (it'll evolve), feeling that his daughter should not marry some kind of a waster, requires Monty to hold down a job for a full year, and Gertrude, being an old-fashioned sort of girl of solid middle-class stock, refuses to elope with Monty.
His time at Tiny Tots is brief, however, as he finds himself left in charge one day when the regular editor, the Reverend Aubrey Sellick, is away on vacation. His efforts at writing a piece for the "Uncle Woggly to His Chicks" column results in a swift and acrimonious parting between Bodkin and Tilbury's employ, and the hunt is on for new work. On the advice of his friend and fellow-Drone Hugo Carmody, he once again uses his uncle, this time to wangle the post of secretary to Lord Emsworth, recently vacated by Carmody. He spends a few happy days at Blandings, in company of his former fiancee Sue Brown, before events conspiring against him, particularly Lord Emsworth's suspicions of anyone connected to the Parsloe-Parsloe camp, lead to his expulsion from the post. He tries to get back in with Lord Tilbury by stealing Galahad Threepwood's reminiscences, but is scuppered by Percy Pilbeam; he later takes revenge on Pilbeam, but repents and ends up paying him handsomely for the chance to work for his Detective Agency, the Argus, for a year.
In "The Plot That Thickened" Monty manages to hold down a job in the entertainment industry, only to be informed by J.G. Butterwick that it does not count. Surprising his fiancee's father, he immediately secures a job with his former employer in England, thanks to the efforts of his secretary. Over the course of the book, he falls in love with said secretary, and marries her after Gertrude breaks the engagement to marry a police officer.
- In the 1995 TV adaptation of Heavy Weather made by the BBC and partners, also broadcast in the U.S. by PBS, and titled Heavy Weather, Monty Bodkin was played by Samuel West.