Right Ho, Jeeves
|Author||P. G. Wodehouse|
|5 October 1934|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Preceded by||Thank You, Jeeves|
|Followed by||The Code of the Woosters|
Right Ho, Jeeves is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, the second full-length novel featuring the popular characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, after Thank You, Jeeves. It also features a host of other recurring Wodehouse characters, and is mostly set at Brinkley Court, the home of Bertie's Aunt Dahlia. It was first published in the United Kingdom on 5 October 1934 by Herbert Jenkins, London, and in the United States on 15 October 1934 by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, under the title Brinkley Manor. Before being published as a book, it had been sold to the Saturday Evening Post, in which it appeared in serial form from 23 December 1933 to 27 January 1934, and in England in the Grand Magazine from April to September 1934. Wodehouse had already started planning this sequel while working on Thank You, Jeeves.
Bertie returns to London from several weeks in Cannes spent in the company of his Aunt Dahlia Travers and her daughter Angela. In Bertie's absence, Jeeves has been advising Bertie's old school friend, Gussie Fink-Nottle, who is in love with Madeline Bassett. Gussie is too timid to speak to her.
Madeline, a friend of Bertie's cousin Angela, is staying at Brinkley Court (country seat of Aunt Dahlia and Uncle Tom). Bertie himself is expected at Brinkley Court to deliver the school prizes at the local grammar school, which he considers a fearful task. Bertie sends Gussie to Brinkley Court so that he will have the chance to woo Madeline, but also so that Gussie will be forced to take on the job of distributing the prizes.
When Angela breaks her engagement to Tuppy Glossop, Bertie feels obliged to go down to Brinkley Court to comfort Aunt Dahlia. In addition to her worry about Angela's broken engagement, Aunt Dahlia is anxious about the 500 pounds she lost gambling at Cannes, as she has to ask her miserly husband Tom for the money. Bertie advises Aunt Dahlia to pretend to have lost her appetite through worry, advice he also offers to Tuppy to win back Angela and—largely redundantly—to Gussie, to win Madeline. All take his advice. The resulting plates of untasted food upset Aunt Dahlia's prized chef Anatole, who gives notice.
Bertie's attempt to plead Gussie's case is misinterpreted by Madeline as a marriage proposal, but she tells Bertie she cannot marry him, as she has fallen in love with someone else, and her description of the man makes Bertie realise that she is talking about Gussie. When Gussie is too timid to speak to Madeline even with this substantial encouragement, Bertie decides to embolden Gussie by making the teetotal Gussie drink alcohol without his knowledge.
Gussie ends up imbibing more gin than Bertie had intended. Gussie successfully proposes to Madeline, then—in a scene that is the highlight of the novel—delivers an inebriated speech to the grammar school, to the delight of a few but to the horror of many. Madeline breaks the engagement. Gussie, still drunk, proposes to Angela, who accepts him solely to anger Tuppy.
In the face of this chaos, Bertie admits his inability to act as a counsellor, and removes a restriction he had placed on Jeeves to offer advice. Jeeves ensures Bertie's absence for a few hours, and during that time swiftly ensures that Angela and Tuppy are reconciled, that Gussie and Madeline are engaged, that Anatole withdraws his resignation, and that Uncle Tom writes Aunt Dahlia a check for 500 pounds.
The masterly episode where Gussie Fink-Nottle presents the prizes at Market Snodsbury grammar school is frequently included in collections of great comic literature and has often been described as the single funniest piece of sustained writing in the language. I would urge you, however, to head straight for a library or bookshop and get hold of the complete novel Right Ho, Jeeves, where you will encounter it fully in context and find that it leaps even more magnificently to life.
- McIlvaine, E., Sherby, L.S. and Heineman, J.H. (1990) P.G. Wodehouse: A comprehensive bibliography and checklist. New York: James H. Heineman, pp. 66–68. ISBN 087008125X
- Brian Taves; Richard (FRW) Briers (2006), P.G. Wodehouse and Hollywood: screenwriting, satires, and adaptations, McFarland, p. 191, ISBN 978-0-7864-2288-3
- David A. Jasen (2002), P.G. Wodehouse: a portrait of a master, Music Sales Group, p. 132, ISBN 978-0-8256-7275-0
- Stephen Fry, What ho! My hero, PG Wodehouse, The Independent, Tuesday, 18 January 2000. A longer version of this article appears as the introduction to "What Ho! The Best of PG Wodehouse".
- Le Carré, John. "Personal Best: Right Ho, Jeeves". Salon.com. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- The Russian Wodehouse Society's page, with a list of characters
- Free eBook of Right Ho, Jeeves at Project Gutenberg
- Summaries of most of P.G. Wodehouse's books, information on characters