Philip Thody

Wodehouse and the Critics

P. G. Wodehouse, An Illustrated Biography

By

Orbis £6.95 order from our bookshop

When, in 1939, P. G. Wodehouse was given his Oxford D.Litt, F. R. Leavis commented in Scrutiny that ‘his humour is a cross of Prep-school and Punch, his invention puerile, and the brightness of his style the inane, mechanical brightness of the worst schoolboy slang’. Sir Roderick Glossop, Sir Watkin Bassett or even Aunt Agatha herself could not have put it better, and Leavis’s remarks were an uncanny premonition of the elbow which the Master was going to get from literary intellectuals as well as from flag-wagging popularists when he made such an ass of himself by broadcasting from Berlin in 1941.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,