(From Joss' own Wodehouse Collection)
How it all started
My first meeting with P. G. Wodehouse, christened Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
and known to his family and friends as Plum, was at our local library.
This was in my early teens, and I had read my way through the childrens department and had just
ventured in to the realm of fiction for the grown ups. And one of the first books I stumbled upon had a cover
showing a man and a woman with a rather large pig, and the title "Månelyst på Blandings".
This book is probably better known to the world at large as "Full Moon", and the author is of cause
P. G. Wodehouse.
A direct translation of the Norwegian title would be "Moonlight at Blandings", but it can and is probably
intended to be read as "Trouble/Showdown/Commotion at Blandings", which might have been quite a
tempting title for an adolescent.
After starting work with this site and collecting images for the Covers page, I suddenly started wondering
if my memory of the first book serves me right; especially after having a look at the books containing the
Norwegian editions of "Service with a Smile" and "Summer Lightning", both having covers including a large pig
and some people. And to make it even more difficult to check the reliablity of my own memory, all these three
books are part of the Blandings Saga.
Whichever of the three alternatives, I quite liked the book, and chose to read the few other books by
Wodehouse available at the library. As these all contained a list of other books by the same author
I of cause wanted to get hold of them too, which proved to be far from easy.
However, a Norwegian publisher soon after (early 70's) started publishing a whole series of his books in
paperback, and I bought and read them with great and increasing satisfaction and enjoyment as they
came out quite regularly into the 80's.
But the real and full enjoyment started when I got a grip (even if only of a rather rudimentary sort) on the
English language, and started buying the English paperback versions from Penguin.
I also got hold of a catalogue from the same publishers and found out that I could order books directly
from them, which made it all that easier to augment my collection of the books available.
I still have fond memories of the day I went to the post office to claim the first Penguin pacel containing
no less than 13 brand new paperbacks to delve in to and to enjoy, and all of them in the masters
own language. And the Ionicus illustrations were to become an extra bonus as I kept on adding to my library.
Later on I started making quite regular trips to London, where part of the many joys were visiting book stores,
and especially those dealing in second hand books. This usually resulted in quite heavy charges for
excess luggage on the flights back home to Norway, but it was absolute worth it.
I had by now accuired a more or less complete collection of the books published, in some version or other.
Mostly paperbacks at first, but these were steadily suplemented with hardbacks, and even som first editions.
But what ever edition, or condition, all the books proved to be quite simply an everlasting source of
enjoyment, fun, relaxation and escape.
Having read everything multiple times over the years, the next step was to get hold of the various books about
Wodehouse and his life and work, this getting ever more easy as the internet became the resource for finding
all of them. These have now become almost a separate collection, all of them in different ways contributing
to a growing insight. And of cause, now much of this and more besides are also available on different web sites.
The same channel also enabled me to get hold of a nice selection of film and TV adaptions, especially
"Wodehouse Playhouse" were Pauline Collins and John Alderton in my humble opinion both did a terrefic job of
depicting all the different major caracters, and "Jeeves and Wooster" were Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry
did an if at all possible even better job in the main roles. Fortunately I found both these series to be quite true
to the books and the stories, and almost as enjoyable in their own way.
I'm also quite in love with BBC's version of "Heavy Weather" from 1995 with excellent Richard Briers as Gally,
and Peter O'Toole as Clarence.
Richard Briers also plays one of the main characters in "The Girl on the Boat"
a film from 1962 which is quite enjoyable, not least compared to some other earlier films made in Hollywood.
The recently released Blandings series is also in my collection, but I'm sorry to say that they will probably not
get to many re-runs, as I find them to be quite simply too far removed from the true world and spirit of Blandings
so wonderfully created by Wodehouse. I do love some of the actors in their own right, and in others roles were
they have excelled, but they had to fight an uphill battle in this one.
However, being a collector and a rather dedicated one, it is nice to know the DVD's of both seasons are
in their rightfull places too.
And, not to forget, I also have the newly released "Wodehouse in Exile", with Tim Pigott-Smith and Zoë Wanamaker
as Plum and Ethel, dealing with their somewhat troublesome and unfortunate experiences during the War.
A couple of more things not to forget is the Wodehouse Community at large, i.e all the other people connected
through their common love of and interest in all things Wodehousian and sharing this through the official Societies,
mail groups, Facebook etc. (see the Links page)
And of cause all the dedicated people writing books and essays, digging for and sharing information, re-publishing
forgotten gems, running informative web sites and generally supplying all of us with a steady stream of the right stuff.
They all contribute to the continued feeling of being a member of the possibly best of worlds,
and everything in the true and mostly quite innocent spirit of Plum himself.
A big and heartfelt "Thank You" to you all!
In some way this site was created on an impulse, more or less because the domain became available,
but at the same time, working on a lot of other pages and sites for many years, I think perhaps I've had a more
or less unconscius though of creating something like this and thereby hopefully give a little something back
to a "world" that has given me so much over so many years.
With it's Norwegian version the site might also be found by my some of my fellow countrymen and women who still
haven't been lucky enough to be introduced to Wodehouse.
Even though it still is possible to find book shops in Norway selling new editions of his books, the chance of any of
them "stumbling upon him" in their local library is unfortunately steadily diminishing.
So here I am - "spreading the word"
(My own Wodehouse Corner)
P.S: For those of you who might notice the picture of me in a gold frame at the bottom of the page, it's based
on a picture taken in a small "shop" in Bournemouth in my younger days, and has always been one of my
treasured possesions. Why you might ask, and I will tell you. In some way it's more "me" than me.
I've always felt and believed, or perhaps even known, that I would probably have been a more happy and satisfied
person if I had been born 100 or 150 years earlier. And that is perhaps also one of the reasons why I so easily
and so early felt so very much at home with the world created and presented by P. G. Wodehouse.
It might not be a real world, and probably it never could be - but it is real to me.
(I mean, I say, after all, just look - it even has a new web page all of it's own)
"For Mr. Wodehouse there has been no fall of Man; no "aboriginal calamity." His characters have never
tasted the forbidden fruit. They are still in Eden. The gardens of Blandings Castle are that original garden
from which we are all exiled.
... Mr 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 (1961)
And that is the spirit in which the content of this page aspires to be presented.
Copyright © 2014 - Morten Arnesen (a.k.a Joss Weatherby)