My Man Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse

A collection of short stories from 1910-1915, some with Bertie and Jeeves, some with “Reggie.” Here Wodehouse is slowly devising the world of rich men in spats and avenging aunts that would make him a household name. The stories are formula–it is the wordplay that makes these so delightful. Wodehouse was said to have reread the complete works of Shakespeare every year, and many of his clever analogies stem from the plays.

One phrase here (“miss-in-baulk”) kept recurring. I originally thought it a play on “mis-en-scene,” but then it looked like it might be a billiards term. (Dictionary confirms that “baulk” is a British equivalent of “balk” which in billiards is part of the “balk line.”) Recommended? For the Wodehouse completists.

[Finished 31 January 1993]

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