Francis Wheen

Very Healthy Grunt

The Care of the Pig

By Augustus Whiffle, James Hogg (Ed)

Michael Joseph 128pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

With pigs, things are not always what they seem. Even the name of the author of pigdom’s most famous text has long been uncertain. In P G Wodehouse’s early Blandings novels, the man who wrote The Care of the Pig is always referred to as Whiffle. In Galahad at Blandings, however, he becomes Augustus Whipple. This is the story in which we come closest to meeting the great man, since he writes to Emsworth asking for permission to come and photograph the Empress of Blandings. Alas, thanks to some contrivance of Galahad Threepwood, the man who arrives at Blandings purporting to be Whipple is in fact Sam Bagshott, Gally’s godson, while the real Whipple is left cooling his heels at the Emsworth Arms. In Sunset at Blandings, his last book, Wodehouse wrote the name as Whipple but then amended it to Whiffle.

Chicago_Dec2016

Sara Stewart

Follow Literary Review on Twitter