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Eggs, Beans And Crumpets
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About the Author

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (always known as `Plum') wrote about seventy novels and some three hundred short stories over seventy-three years. He is widely recognised as the greatest 20th-century writer of humour in the English language. Perhaps best known for the escapades of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Wodehouse also created the world of Blandings Castle, home to Lord Emsworth and his cherished pig, the Empress of Blandings. His stories include gems concerning the irrepressible and disreputable Ukridge; Psmith, the elegant socialist; the ever-so-slightly-unscrupulous Fifth Earl of Ickenham, better known as Uncle Fred; and those related by Mr Mulliner, the charming raconteur of The Angler's Rest, and the Oldest Member at the Golf Club. In 1936 he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for `having made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the happiness of the world'. He was made a Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1939 and in 1975, aged ninety-three, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died shortly afterwards, on St Valentine's Day.

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This 1940 collection of nine mostly delightful stories opens with four accounts of the misadventures of the wonderfully inept Bingo Little. Married to best-selling novelist Rosie M. Banks, Bingo strives awkwardly to find a job and then to get it back when his stuffy boss Purkiss, not without justification, fires him. Bingo, a close friend of Bertie Wooster in several Jeeves tales, almost matches Wodehouse's greatest creation with his genius for getting into and out of trouble. The best story, however, is "Anselm Gets His Chance," in which one of the Mulliners arranges for a supposed reformed burglar to steal a stamp collection. It displays Wodehouse's patented twists and turns of plot at their best. The remaining stories, one with Freddie Fitch-Fitch and four with Stanley Ukridge, while charming, are lesser works. Jonathan Cecil, equally adept at the silly and the pompous, matches Alexander Spencer and Martin Jarvis as a great Wodehouse interpreter. Highly recommended. Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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