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

    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,
    • The author 'seethes with contemptuous indignation at the shiny junk that an unregulated construction industry dumps… ,
    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,