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The Swoop! & The Military Invasion of America

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

"Deep down in his heart the genuine Englishman has a rugged distaste for seeing his country invaded by a foreign army. People were asking themselves by what right these aliens had overrun British soil. An ever-growing feeling of annoyance had begun to lay hold of the nation.”

Clarence Chugwater is not a Boy Scout for nothing. It is summer 1909 and everyone is too interested in the Test Match to notice that England has been invaded by the Germans. And the Russians. And the Chinese. Not to mention a ‘boisterous band of the Young Turks’, a mad Mullah, and a brace of North African pirates. The government has recently abolished the army so there is nothing to be done about it anyway, except give a masterly display of polite indifference. But this would be to reckon without patriotic Clarence, ‘Boy of Destiny’, who alone is prepared to stand up to the foe, and who devises a highly unorthodox plan to restore his country to freedom…

The Swoop! Or, How Clarence Saved England reprints the 33 black and white drawings by C. Harrison that accompanied the first edition. It is supplemented by The Military Invasion of America, in which Clarence’s story is humorously transplanted across the Atlantic.

If I Were You

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Anthony, fifth Earl of Droitwich, is engaged to Violet, a millionaires daughter which was a result of their families planning rather than natures course. Their plan to maintain the family coffers is undermined by the arrival of his Nanny whom under the influence of too much medicinal Brandy allows certain skeletons out of the family tomb. On top of this Anthony has fallen for manicurist Polly Brown whom the family don't consider to be countess material. Tony departs for London with the resourceful Polly Brown, leaving the ancestral home in the hands of the Socialist barber Syd Price...

The Small Bachelor

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Would-be painter, George Finch, with lots of money and no talent, falls for lovely Molly Waddington who falls for him. Unfortunately, Molly’s snobbish stepmother, Mrs Sigsbee H. Waddington, New York society queen, has grander ideas for Molly, not least because George comes from Idaho, which is in every sense beyond the pale. Based on a 1917 musical comedy script by Wodehouse and his friend, Guy Bolton, The Small Bachelor tells the story of George’s struggle to win his girl, with the willing help of Hamilton Beamish, author of self-improvement pamphlets, and the unwitting assistance of a poetic policeman, Molly’s henpecked father, and New York’s premier female pickpocket.

The White Feather

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

In order to save his reputation and the honour of his house at school after he shames himself by running away from a fight between fellow pupils and toughs from the local town, a studious schoolboy takes up the study of boxing. This charming early novel by P. G. Wodehouse plays a series of witty variations on the standard school story of the period, balancing the minor heroics of the action against a humorously ironic commentary. The simple tale is given sparkle by vivid character drawing and the author’s sharp ear for schoolboy dialogue

French Leave

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Three American sisters leave their chicken farm on Long Island for a holiday in Europe. In France they encounter the charming but penniless Marquis de Maufringneuse, his writer son Jeff, and the marquis’s tough American ex-wife. When they all find themselves together at the exclusive resort of St. Rocque - one of the sisters in search of a husband, the marquis in search of a fortune, the writer in search of love - Wodehousian complications ensue.

Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Monty Bodkin has returned to London from Hollywood, leaving Sandy Miller, his secretary there, heartbroken, because Monty loves English hockey international Gertrude Butterwick instead of her. Holding down a job for a year was the condition laid down by Gertrude’s father before Monty and Gertrude could be married, a condition Monty has unexpectedly fulfilled by blackmailing Hollywood movie mogul Ivor Llewellyn. Back in England, he intends to claim his bride, but the path to true love never runs smooth, as Monty is about to find out.

Mike and Psmith

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

An early Wodehouse novel, this is both a sporting story and a tale of friendship between two boys at boarding school. Mike (introduced in the novel Mike at Wrykyn) is a seriously good cricketer who forms an unlikely alliance with old Etonian Psmith (‘the P is silent’) after they both find themselves fish out of water at a new school, Sedleigh, where they eventually overcome the hostility of others and their own prejudices to become stars

Even readers uninterested in cricket are likely to be gripped by descriptions of matches, and the plot, though slight, reaches a satisfying conclusion. But the real meat of the book is to be found in the characters, especially the elegant Psmith, one of Wodehouse’s immortal creations, who features in three of his later novels (Psmith in the City, Psmith Journalist, Leave it to Psmith).

The Head Of Kay's

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

It is the general view at Eckleton school that there never was such a house of slackers as Kay's. Fenn, head of house and county cricketer, does his best to impose some discipline but is continually undermined by his house-master, the meddlesome and ineffectual Mr Kay. After the Summer Concert fiasco, Mr Kay resolves to remove Fenn from office and puts his house into special measures, co-opting Kennedy, second prefect of Blackburn's, as reluctant troubleshooter with a brief to turn the place around. But without the backing of Fenn, and the whole house hostile towards him, how can he achieve the impossible ...?

Company For Henry

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Everyone in Company for Henry wants to escape from something. Hard-up Henry Paradene would like to unload his hideous country house on his millionaire American cousin, J. Wendell Stickney. Wendell wishes he could be rid of his embarrassing aunt Kelly, while Kelly wants to escape her financial dependence on Wendell. Henry's niece, Jane, needs to part from her glamorous but ghastly fiancé, Lionel, while Bill Hardy, who falls for Jane, needs no convincing to abandon the bachelor state. Jane's brother Algey, meanwhile, spends his time thinking up dodgy schemes to lift himself out of poverty. Everything ends happily ever after for most of them, but only when they have been put through the hoops of a classic Wodehouse plot.

Bachelors Anonymous

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Much married American movie mogul Ivor Llewellyn depends on his friends at Bachelors Anonymous to keep him out of romantic entanglements on his trip to London. First, they arrange for Joe Pickering to be his bodyguard. Then his lawyer, Ephraim Trout, is sent to England to help fend off the actress Vera Dalrymple who is determined to ensnare Llewellyn. All seems to be going well. But when devoted bachelor Trout takes it upon himself to thwart a romance between Pickering and a beautiful journalist, he sets in train a series of events which end in more than one marriage including his own

Tales of St Austin's

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

St Austin's school (as featured in The Pothunters) is the setting for twelve delightful early Wodehouse stories. The familiar ingredients - and some of the same characters - are present: cricket and rugby loom large, school colours are gained, tricks are played, exams avoided, revenge wreaked upon enemies, and the honour of School and House upheld. A nostalgic look at English public-school life at the turn of the twentieth century, made enjoyable today by the young Wodehouse's gentle humour and witty turn of phrase.

The Adventures of Sally

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

The Adventures of Sally is a transatlantic comedy set in worlds Wodehouse knew well: American theatres, English country houses, and the theatrical boarding-houses where young men and women dream of finding fame and fortune. Coming into an inheritance, one of these young women, Sally, is able to leave her boarding-house at last, and looks forward to a quiet life in a small apartment. Instead, she finds herself swept up in a series of adventures with her ambitious brother, an accident-prone, dog-loving Englishman she meets on a French beach, and his supercilious cousin who pursue her across the Atlantic. While losing her inheritance backing a play, and then retrieving it, she sheds an unsatisfactory fiancé, falls in love with the accident-prone, dog-loving Englishman, rejects the supercilious cousin, and finds happiness in a kennel on Long Island.

Mike at Wrykyn

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

This charming story of the Jackson cricketing dynasty describes the adventures of Mike Jackson at boarding school as he makes his way up the sporting ladder to the first eleven. The young P. G. Wodehouse evokes the peaceful, prosperous world of middle-class England before the Great War, a place where rich men hire private cricket professionals to coach their sons at home, and little seems to matter at school except the publishing of team lists and the taking of tea. But such is the novelist's skill that he can make excitement from the small-scale dramas of teenage life, and interest even the most unsporting reader in the cricket matches he describes so lovingly. A curiosity for those who know only the Wodehouse of Blandings and Piccadilly, but a delightful one.

Love Among the Chickens

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

This is the tale of Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, one of Wodehouse's favourite protagonists, and his fraught attempt to establish a business farming chickens on the coast of Dorset. The story is told by Jeremy Garnet through whose bemused eyes we observe the magnificent Ukridge at work while following Garnet's own chequered romance with the daughter of a neighbouring professor.

The Old Reliable

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Following the death of Carmen Flores, the lubricious Mexican star, Adela Cork buys her Hollywood house. Hoping to escape from the domineering Adela, her brother-in-law Smedley, who has lived with her since losing his money, searches the house for Carmen's legendary lost diary, in the belief that its scorching revelations about the sex life of her fellow stars will make him millions. He is helped and hindered by a safe-blowing butler, a pompous movie mogul, a posse of unemployed scriptwriters, and the redoubtable Adela herself. Fortunately, Adela's sister, 'Bill' Shannon, not for nothing nicknamed 'the Old Reliable', is on hand to ensure a satisfactory outcome. A light comedy which is also a sharp satire on Hollywood mores.

The Gold Bat

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

When O'Hara and Moriarty, two boys at Wrykyn School, tar and feather the statue of a pompous local MP, O'Hara mislays at the scene of their crime a tiny gold bat borrowed from Trevor, captain of the school cricket team. The plot revolves around the fate of this bat and attempts to retrieve it, but the real focus of the novel is a vivid portrayal of school life. Though the setting is an English public school in the years before World War 1, so sharp is Wodehouse's ear for the way children talk that everyone will recognise familiar characters and situations, whatever their place of education.

Ice in the Bedroom

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Freddie Widgeon wants the money to buy shares in a coffee plantation in Kenya so that he can marry Sally Foster. Soapy and Dolly Molloy want to get their hands on a cache of stolen jewels hidden in the house of Freddie's neighbour in the suburb of Valley Fields. When their paths cross, the ensuing misunderstandings lead to vintage Wodehouse comedy.

The Girl in Blue

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

The vintage plot concerns a Gainsborough miniature, a mouldering country house, an overweight solicitor, a fortune-hunter, a butler who isn't a butler, an American corporate lawyer and his kleptomaniac sister; but the heart of the story - in every sense - concerns Jerry West and his determined pursuit of air hostess Jane Hunnicutt, the eponymous Girl in Blue. When Jane unexpectedly becomes a millionairess, Jerry despairs of wooing her, but the sun never goes behind a cloud for long in Wodehouse: Jerry gets his Jane in the end, but only after a series of trials which raise the comic stakes to the author's highest level.

The Man Upstairs

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Wodehouse's well-known gift for satisfying plots and comic surprises is evident on every page, but there are also signs of his debt to earlier writers in the realistic tradition. Set mainly in London or New York, many of the stories concern ordinary people - shopassistants, schoolmasters, secretaries, servants, unsuccessful writers - living the life of rented rooms and cheap cafés Wodehouse knew well from his own experience. Yet there is nothing sad or gloomy about these tales. Far from it: they are brimming with life and energy, beautifully written and invariably delightful. And for Wodehouse addicts there is also a goodly sprinkling of goofy young men about town and their valets to satisfy the strongest appetites

A Prefect's Uncle

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

The action of the novel takes place at the fictional "Beckford College", a private school for boys; the title alludes to the arrival at the school of a mischievous young boy called Farnie, who turns out to be the uncle of the older "Bishop" Gethryn, a prefect, cricketer and popular figure in the school. His arrival, along with that of another youngster who becomes fag to Gethryn, leads to much excitement and scandal in the school, and the disruption of some important cricket matches.

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