Honeysuckle Cottage

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"Honeysuckle Cottage" is a short story by the British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse. The story was first published in the 24 January 1925 issue of the Saturday Evening Post in the United States and in the February 1925 issue of the Strand Magazine in the United Kingdom.[1]

Wodehouse subsequently added a framing device in which the story is told by the character of Mr. Mulliner. It is this version which appears in the 1927 short story collection Meet Mr. Mulliner, and subsequent Wodehouse anthologies.


When the hardboiled mystery novelist, James Rodman, a distant cousin of Mr. Mulliner, receives an inheritance from his aunt, Leila J. Pinckney, a romance novelist, along with the condition that he stay for six months in Honeysuckle Cottage, where she wrote nine million one hundred and forty thousand words of glutinous sentimentality. James moves to the cottage to write in peace, but he soon finds a damsel in distress intruding into his writing, a thing he had studiously avoided until now. And then, a real girl arrives in the form of Rose Maynard, who is injured when struck by a car outside the cottage gates. When even Rodman's tough literary agent is mellowed by the atmosphere of the house, James knows that fate, in true romance-novel form, is inexorably urging him on to propose to Rose. A confirmed bachelor, he struggles against this unwelcome fate and is saved by the timely intervention of a mixed-breed dog.

Rated by Wodehouse himself as one of his funniest stories,[2] the story has been viewed as a homage to the writer Henry James.[3] The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein thought it the funniest thing he had ever read and it has been suggested- not entirely seriously- that it strongly influenced Wittgenstein's own thought.[4]


BBC Radio broadcast a radio play version of the story on 29 April 2002 with Roger Davenport.[5]


  1. ^ http://wodehouse.ru/39.htm
  2. ^ Wodehouse, P. G. (1953). Performing Flea. London: Herbert Jenkins. 
  3. ^ Wernsman, Marijane R. Davis (Winter 2005). "The Figure in the Carpet of "Honeysuckle Cottage": P. G. Wodehouse and Henry James". The Henry James Review. 26 (1). 
  4. ^ http://greatwarfiction.wordpress.com/2006/07/10/wodehouse-and-wittgenstein/#comment-35563
  5. ^ http://www.suttonelms.org.uk/nchaillet.html