This is part of an ongoing effort by the members of the Blandings Yahoo! Group to document references, allusions, quotations, etc. in the works of P. G. Wodehouse.

Carry On, Jeeves! was originally annotated by Mark Hodson (aka The Efficient Baxter). The notes have been reformatted and somewhat edited and extended, but credit goes to Mark for his original efforts, even while we bear the blame for errors of fact or interpretation. Newly added notes are marked with * instead of the page reference to the Penguin 1999 edition. Significantly updated or expanded notes are flagged with °

Carry On, Jeeves! was published in the UK in 1925, and in the US in 1927. The US edition is somewhat unusual in that it retains nearly all of the British spelling choices such as “colour” and “realise.” Some of the stories (marked * in the list below) were reworked from the collection My Man Jeeves, published in the UK in 1919, one featuring a young man called Reggie Pepper, a prototype of Bertie, as well as stories about Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. Parenthesized dates are initial magazine appearances.

Jeeves Takes Charge (pp. 1–26)

This story was originally published in 1916, and is in the fictional chronology the earliest of the Jeeves stories. It was published in amended form in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). Page references are to the 1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 1–26.

Easeby   (p. 1)

Fictitious, but does occur as an occasional variant spelling of Easby, a village near Richmond, North Yorks. Many of Wodehouse’s country houses are placed in Shropshire. Placenames ending in ‘-by’ are normally of Danish origin, and would be very unusual in Shropshire, though common in Northeast England.

hand ... the mitten   (p. 1)

See The Code of the Woosters.

registry office   (p. 1)

Employment agency for domestic servants.

Types of Ethical Theory   (p. 2)

MARTINEAU, James. Types of Ethical Theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1885 (2 vols). Not to be confused with Broad, C. D. FIVE TYPES OF ETHICAL THEORY, which was only published in 1934, but is still in print.

The first quotation can be seen in context at Google Books. “Idiopsychological Ethics” is the title of Book I of Volume II. The later quotation, near the end of this story, can be seen here.

healing zephyr   (p. 2)

The zephyr is a west wind, or gentle breeze.

Worcester Sauce  (p. 3)

A proprietary condiment, made commercially and sold as Worcestershire Sauce in the UK since 1838 by Lea and Perrins to a recipe brought back from Bengal by Lord Marcus Sandys. [Note that the original appearances of this story in both British and American magazines referred simply to “dark meat-sauce” here.  —KS/NM March 2016] (Thanks to Jim Munn for reminding us of the difference between the real-life trade name and Jeeves’s abbreviated reference to it. 2021-07-24)

Lord Worplesdon (p. 3)

Worplesdon is a village about 5 miles north of Guildford, Surrey (where PGW was born). Lord Worplesdon is clearly an hereditary peer, as his daughter is referred to as Lady Florence. However, when he recovers from his breakdown to reappear in Joy in the Morning, he seems to have become a shipping tycoon.

Iron hand (or fist) in the velvet glove (p. 5)

ruthlessness, tyranny, masked by a polite and courteous manner. Ascribed to Napoleon, as in Thomas Carlyle’s “Model Prisons” (1850) in Latter-day Pamphlets.

give them a what’s-its-name, they take a thingummy (p. 5)

Give an inch, they take a mile – i.e. allow any liberty and they will take advantage of it.  “What’s-its-name” and “thingummy” are two of the many colloquialisms Bertie employs when unable to recall the correct words.

wild oats (p. 7)

avena fatua, a weed found in cornfields. Used metaphorically, sowing one’s wild oats is to indulge youthful folly, knowing that it will later be overwhelmed by the genuine corn. In Danish, “Loki’s wild oats” are spring mists which appear just before the crops start to sprout. (Brewer)

rounder (p. 7)

A dissolute person, someone who does the rounds of bars, etc. The OED lists this as 19th century American slang – presumably Bertie picked up the expression in New York.

(In at least some editions the more common term “bounder” is used here.)

Oakshott (p. 7)

Oakshott is another Hampshire place name, a village just north of Petersfield.

bantam weight *

A weight class of boxers recognized since 1894; current upper limit is 118 pounds, lighter than lightweights and featherweights. These smaller boxers would be agile, hence the comparison here to Florence’s side-stepping.

dependent on Uncle Willoughby *

The inference is that Bertie’s uncle is trustee of his inheritance until he reaches a specified age, most likely 25. Internal evidence of the cigar reminicence suggests that he is 24 at the time of this story.

tabasco (p. 8)

A proprietary hot sauce made with chili peppers. Tabasco® brand products are produced by McIlhenny Company, founded in 1868 at Avery Island, Louisiana. Bertie is implying that Uncle Willoughby was hot stuff in his younger days.

a quart and a half (p. 8)

Approximately 1.7 litres, assuming that this is 1.5 British imperial quarts rather than US quarts.

Lord Emsworth (p. 8)

Our Lord Emsworth, Clarence, the ninth Earl, first appeared in Something New/Something Fresh (1915). A previous holder of the title was mentioned in “The Matrimonial Sweepstakes” (1910). Emsworth’s brother, Gally, seems to share many of Uncle Willoughby’s attributes, and his equally lively memoirs provide the plot for Summer Lightning (1929) and Heavy Weather (1933)

Rosherville Gardens (p. 8)

Victorian pleasure gardens at Gravesend on the Thames Estuary. The site is now partly occupied by a GEC factory.

Lady Carnaby’s Memories of Eighty Interesting Years (p. 9)

Carnaby is a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire (now Humberside), near Bridlington.

Compare Lady Bablockhythe’s Frank Recollections of a Long Life (“Clustering Round Young Bingo”) and Lady Wensleydale’s memoirs (referred to by Lord Tilbury in Chapter 1 of Heavy Weather as Sixty Years Near the Knuckle in Mayfair).

Norman Murphy suggests in The Reminiscences of Galahad Threepwood that the original for Lady Carnaby/Wensleydale/Bablockhythe is Adeline de Horsey, countess of Cardigan and Lancastre. She was for many years the mistress of Lord Cardigan of the Charge of the Light Brigade, marrying him after the death of his first wife. After his death, she married the Portugese Comte de Lancastre. Her book My Recollections appeared in 1909.

spineless invertebrate (p. 10)

As a budding novelist, one might have expected Florence to avoid such tautologies, even if she is quoting Aunt Agatha.

in the night watches  (p. 12)

When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
  Psalm 63:6
Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
  Psalm 119:148

By analogy to nautical terminology, the King James Bible uses the word “watches” to represent what for the psalmists were simply measures of time – they considered the night as subdivided into four parts.

eftsoons or right speedily (p13)

eftsoons (obsolete) soon afterwards, forthwith. Commonly used to give an archaic effect, even a century before Wodehouse:

He holds him with his skinny hand,
“There was a ship,” quoth he.
“Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!”
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

[Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)]

Eugene Aram (p. 14)

The English philologist Eugene Aram (1704–59) was a self-taught expert on the Celtic languages. Before he could complete his Anglo-Celtic dictionary, he was tried and executed for the murder of his friend Daniel Clarke. As well as Thomas Hood’s poem, which Bertie attempts to quote, there is a novel by Bulwer Lytton on the subject. Hood’s poem was effectively sabotaged by Lewis Carroll’s parody “The Walrus and the Carpenter.”

Bertie has got the metre and the storyline right, but there is no line in the poem that starts “I slew him....” Elsewhere, Bertie often quotes the final stanza:

That very night while gentle sleep
The urchin’s eyelids kissed,
Two stern-faced men set out from Lynn,
Through the cold and heavy mist;
And Eugene Aram walked between,
With gyves upon his wrist.

[Thomas Hood “The Dream of Eugene Aram” (1829)]

falling dew (p. 17)

A frequent idea in poetry, so Bertie may not have a specific quotation in mind (among other places, the phrase also occurs in Wilde’s Endymion and at least two poems by “A.E.”):

Whither, midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou persue
Thy solitary way?

[“To a Waterfowl” by William Cullen Bryant (1815)]

Raffles (p. 19)

The gentleman burglar, created by Conan Doyle’s brother-in-law E. W. Hornung, first appeared in 1899.

two-year-old *

The age when a thoroughbred racehorse usually begins training and sometimes participating in races against other young horses; a time of great liveliness and vigor.

Walkinshaw’s Supreme Ointment (p. 23)

In Something Fresh, Ch 5 pt 5 (1915), James the footman is criticised for getting Above Himself after appearing in an advertisement for this same ointment.

Nietzsche (p. 24)

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher of a realist persuasion, often considered one of the first of the existentialists. He had a considerable influence on artists, writers and thinkers in Continental Europe but was less influential in English-speaking countries, as reflected in Jeeves’ judgement on him.

frost *

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

The Artistic Career of Corky (pp. 27–45)

This story was originally published as “Leave It to Jeeves” in the Saturday Evening Post in 1916, and appeared under this title in My Man Jeeves (1919). It was published in amended form in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 27–45.

Extensive additional annotations to this story appear as end notes to the Saturday Evening Post transcription, here on Madame Eulalie.

jute (p. 35)

Jute is a natural fibre, extensively grown in India, and most commonly used to make sacks. Dundee used to be a major centre of the British jute industry. There are a few other jute millionaires in Wodehouse.

the sweet-toned, carelessly-flowing warble of the purple finch linnet *

John Dawson shares this discovery, sent to him by a fellow Wodehouse scholar:

Although the Purple Finch often essays to sing in the autumn and earliest spring, its full powers of voice belong alone to the nuptial season. Then it easily takes its place among our noteworthy song birds. Its full song is a sweet-toned, carelessly flowing warble

From the article on the Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) by Eugene P. Bicknell, in Frank W. Chapman’s Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America, p. 282 (third edition, 1896).

milk of human kindness (p. 35)

Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness.

[Shakespeare, Macbeth. Act i. Sc. 5.]

miss-in-baulk (p. 37)

In billiards, it is not permitted to hit a ball in the baulk area of the table in certain circumstances.

Sargent (p. 41)

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). American painter, closely associated with the French impressionists, and chiefly famous for his portraits.

Baby Blobbs (p. 44)

There are a number of other stories in which portraits find unexpected uses. Brancepeth Mulliner in “Buried Treasure” (Lord Emsworth and Others) gets the idea for a comic fish while painting Lord Bromborough’s portrait; In Quick Service, Mrs Chavender’s portrait is used to advertise Duff and Trotter hams.

Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest (pp. 46–68)

This story was originally published in 1916, and appeared in book form in My Man Jeeves (1919).

It was published in amended form in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 46–68.

Shakespeare (p. 46)

This reference is so vague it’s probably impossible to pin down an exact source. Bertie seems to be talking about the concept of Nemesis, which is one of the leading elements of Greek tragedy. The original SEP appearance of the story used the spelling “Shakspere.”

President Coolidge (p. 47)

Vice-President Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933) became 30th President of the United States in 1923 on the death of Warren Harding. Clearly, this was a detail added in the revision of the story for publication in Carry On, Jeeves. Coolidge was famous for his taciturnity and his capacity for “effectively doing nothing,” which made him very popular.

In the story’s initial appearance Jeeves recommends “the Longacre—as worn by John Drew” while Bertie buys the Country Gentleman, as worn by Jerome D. Kern (Wodehouse’s friend and theatrical collaborator).

What ho! without there? (p. 47)

Seems to have become a cliché of historical fiction, cf. for examples Gilbert and Sullivan’s Utopia Limited, Edgar Rice Burroughs The Outlaw of Torn and Scott’s Kenilworth. The earliest I found was a play by George Lillo (1693–1739), The London Merchant (1731), but it certainly must go back further.

Lady Malvern ... Lord Pershore (p. 47)

Both titles are taken from Worcestershire placenames. Lord Pershore’s is presumably a courtesy title as eldest son, so Lady Malvern’s husband must still be alive.

Durbar (p. 48)

(Urdu) A public reception or levee, usually held with much pomp and ceremony to mark the accession of a ruler to power. The term was adopted by the British when Queen Victoria had herself proclaimed Empress of India at the Delhi Durbar of 1877. Lord Curzon, as Viceroy, stage-managed an even more spectacular Durbar in 1903 to mark the accession of Edward VII, and the last was held for George V in December 1911. It is presumably this one which Lady Malvern attended.

OP to Prompt Side (p. 49)

Right to left, if speaking as an actor; left to right, if speaking as a member of the audience. In a British theatre, the prompter usually sits in the wings of the stage, to the actors’ left. Thus Prompt Side is left and Off Prompt right as seen by the performers.

on the Halls (p. 49)

Music halls or Vaudevilles were theatres specialising in variety entertainment, and usually also serving food and drink to a mainly lower-class public. They were thus a considerable step down in respectability even from the “legitimate theatre,” and Aunt Agatha would not have been at all pleased.

the rest of my natural (p. 50) °

Shortened from “...for the rest of his natural life” – Conventional phrase used to pronounce a sentence of life imprisonment or exile, and in other legal contexts dealing with a person’s full biological lifespan. (The contrasting concept of “civil death” — losing one’s place in society due to treason or felony — is a fine point in Blackstone’s Commentaries on the law.)

Guy Bud writes to remind us that a life prison sentence was not known as such in England at this time, having been instituted when capital punishment was discontinued in 1965; prior to that, indefinite prison sentences were “detention at His/Her Majesty’s Pleasure.” On the other hand, sentencing for “the rest [or term] of his natural life” was used in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand when this story was written. Bertie could have picked up the term from an American crime thriller, for instance, or from American newspapers while he was in New York.

Similar phrasing has other legal usages in wills, trusts, conveyances of property, and so forth in giving someone a life interest in property or in the income from an estate. Most of the online search returns found so far refer to the “remainder of her natural life” (typically for widows or other female survivors, at that era thought to need trustees to control their inheritance).

Sing-Sing (p. 51)

The state penitentiary at Ossining, New York. Mentioned frequently in Wodehouse.

‘India and the Indians’ … less than a month *

Wodehouse often satirized the sort of author who purports to be an expert on an entire country and its people after a brief visit. Here we have both Lady Malvern, proposing to detail America after less than a month as she did for India, and her friend Sir Roger Cremorne, who stayed only two weeks in the USA. An unnamed baronet in The Intrusions of Jimmy/A Gentleman of Leisure, ch. 25 (1910), has written Modern America and Its People after a stay of only two weeks in New York. Lord Wildersham has done the same in “The Fatal Kink in Algernon” (1916). There may well be others.

A possible literary source is The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, in which “the famous foreigner, Count Smorltork” is “gathering materials for his great work on England“—indeed he claims “they are gathered” after a “ver long time—fortnight—more” in England. [NM]

stuffed eelskin (pp. 52–3)

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

Where is my wandering boy tonight (p. 54)

Where is my wandering boy tonight
The boy of my tenderest care
The boy that was once my joy and light
The child of my love and prayer

    Where is my boy tonight
    Where is my boy tonight
    My heart o’erflows, for I love him, he knows
    O where is my boy tonight

Once he was pure as morning dew
As he knelt at his mother’s knee
No face was so bright, no heart more true
And none was so sweet as he

O chould I see you now my boy
As fair as in olden time
When prattle and smile made home a joy
And life was a merry chime

Go for my wand’ring boy tonight
Go search for him where you will
But bring him to me with all his blight
And tell him I love him still

Popular ballad, words and music by the Reverend Robert Lowry, 1877.

Also the title of a 1922 film starring Cullen Landis as a young man who leaves home and sweetheart and becomes involved with a cynical chorus girl.

Young man, rejoice in thy youth (p. 56)

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment

[(Ecclesiastes 11:9).]

Motty seems to have forgotten the second part!

Much Middleford (p. 56)

Fictitious town, cf. the real placename Much Wenlock. Motty would have been a neighbour of Ashe Marson, hero of Something Fresh/Something New (1915).

The Old Oaken Bucket (p. 59)

How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood
When fond recollection presents them to view
The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood,
And ev’ry loved spot which my infancy knew
The wide spreading pond, and the mill that stood by it,
The bridge and the rock where the cataract fell;
The cot of my father, the dairy house nigh it,
And e’en the rude bucket that hung in the well.
The old oaken bucket, the iron bound bucket,
The moss covered bucket that hung in the well.

The moss covered bucket I hailed as a treasure,
For often at noon, when returned from the field,
I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure,
The purest and sweetest that nature can yield.
How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glowing,
And quick to the white pebbled bottom it fell
Then soon, with the emblem of turth overflowing,
And dripping with coolness, it rose from the well.
The old oaken bucket, the iron bound bucket,
The moss covered bucket that hung in the well.

[Song, words by Samuel Woodworth (1818), usually sung to a tune by George Kiallmark (1870)]

Daniel and the lions’ den (p. 59)

See Daniel, Chapter 6.

16  Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
17  And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
18  Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
19  Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
20  And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
21  Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
22  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
23  Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
24  And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

Rocky Todd (p. 60)

See The Aunt and the Sluggard.

Long Island (p. 60)

Wodehouse had rented a house in Bellport, Long Island in 1914.

Blackwell’s Island (p. 64)

A prison was established by New York City on this island in the East River in 1832, soon joined by a workhouse, lunatic asylum and hospital. The prison closed in 1930 and inmates were moved to Rikers Island.

Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg (pp. 69–90)

This story was originally published in The Saturday Evening Post and in the Strand Magazine in March and August respectively in 1917. The story first appeared in book format in 1919 in My Man Jeeves. It was published in amended form in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 69–90.

moustache (p. 70)

Wodehouse is so consistently against facial hair in his fiction, that we must assume this to be a personal prejudice of his. Bertie also grows a moustache in Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit (1954), where it proves to have the disadvantage of making him irresistible to Florence Craye. The most famous moustache story is of course “Buried Treasure” in Lord Emsworth and Others.

Grant’s Tomb (p. 70)

Ulysses S. Grant (1822—85), commander in chief of the Union army in the Civil War and 18th President (1869—77) of the United States. The remains of Grant and his wife lie in an elegant classical building in New York City which used to attract more visitors than the Statue of Liberty. The building is owned by the US National Park Service.

Lord Bridgnorth (p. 78)

Bridgnorth is a town in Shropshire.

chicken farm (p. 78)

Wodehouse’s first successful “adult” novel was Love Among the Chickens (1906), based on the experiences of Carrington Craxton, an acquaintance of Bill Townend who attempted to run a chicken farm.

doubloons and pieces of eight (p. 79)

Two types of archaic Spanish coins, often mentioned in connection with Caribbean pirates – remember Captain Flint’s parrot in Stevenson’s Treasure Island saying “Pieces of eight, pieces of eight.” Doubloon comes from Spanish doblón, and the piece of eight was worth eight reals.

Boost for Birdsburg (p. 82)

A similar deputation of boosting businessmen appears in Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt (1922). There does not appear to be a real place of this name in the USA, although there is one in South Africa. Apparently Beattystown, New Jersey narrowly missed being called Birdsburg. The phrase “Boost for Birdsburg” has taken on a life of its own as an expression of American provincialism.

quid ... o’goblins (pp. 88,89)

Slang expressions for English pounds sterling. “Quid” is still current, and its origins are obscure; the obsolete “o’goblin” is a short variant of “Jimmy O’Goblin,” rhyming slang for “sovereign” (also obsolete).

The Aunt and the Sluggard (pp. 91–120)

This story was originally published in 1916. The story first appeared in book format in 1919 in My Man Jeeves. It was published in amended form in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 91–120.

The Aunt and the Sluggard (p. 91)

6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7 which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8 provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

[Proverbs, 6, 6–8]

the strenuous life (p. 92)

[Added 2015-12-08 NM:] “The Strenuous Life” is the title of an 1899 speech by Theodore Roosevelt, and of a 1900 book containing it along with other essays. The speech opens: “I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife. . . .”

Be! (p. 92)

Wodehouse loved to parody modern verse, but here he is presumably having a go at Walt Whitman (1819–92) and his imitators. The “fairly nude chappie with bulging muscles” would seem to confirm this idea. [The image below is from Cosmopolitan, July 1920, illustrating Edgar A. Guest’s poem “Youth”; this is later than the original appearance of this story, so cannot be the specific picture Wodehouse had in mind, but it is close enough in spirit that I cannot refrain from including it here. —NM]

[Added 2015-12-08:] Dirk Laurie suggests that a more specific source is Longfellow’s A Psalm of Life (see annotations to The Girl on the Boat, p. 134, for the poem in full). The poem contains these lines, contiguously:

Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
 Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
 Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act—act in the living Present!

Compare with the first few lines of the parody:

  The past is dead.
  To-morrow is not born.
   Be to-day!


My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here (p. 95)

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

Chorus.—My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains, high-cover’d with snow,
Farewell to the straths and green vallies below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
My heart’s in the Highlands, &c.

[Robert Burns (1759–96) “Farewell to the Highlands” (1790)]

Jimmy Mundy (p. 96)

Based on Billy Sunday (1862–1935). Sunday was a successful baseball player with the Chicago White Stockings and the Pittsburgh Pirates before becoming a full-time evangelist in 1897. In 1917 he held his famous 10 week Campaign for New York in which over 98000 people were reported to have been converted. Wodehouse mentions Sunday in a review he wrote for Vanity Fair in March 1915 under the heading “Boy! Page Mr. Comstock!” (see Phelps, chapter 9).

hit-the-trail campaign *

Billy Sunday (see above) coined the phrase “hit the sawdust trail” to describe the act of coming to the front of a revival meeting to accept the evangelist’s invitation to be converted to Christianity. The phrase was often shortened to “hit the trail”; see the Dictionary of Christianese for more history and citations.

Madison Square Garden (p. 96)

The first Madison Square Garden arena was built by Phineas T. Barnum on the site of a former railway yard in 1874. In 1890, this was replaced by a vast building in the Moorish style, which could hold as many as 17,000 people, and survived until 1924.

Gehenna (p. 96)

New Testament name for hell, deriving from the Vale of Hinnom, a valley south of Jerusalem. Occurs eight times in the NT (Matt. v. 22, 29, x. 28, xiii. 15, xviii. 9, xxiii. 15, 33; James iii. 6); the word Hades (which Rocky uses on p 110) is slightly more popular, appearing nine times. (source: Brewer)

Georgie Cohan (p. 101)

George M. Cohan (1878–1942), American actor, singer, songwriter, playwright and producer. His most famous composition was the song “Over There” (1919). There is an anecdote about him in Bring On the Girls.

Willie Collier (p. 101)

Broadway comic actor and producer.

Fred Stone (p. 101)

Broadway actor, later moved to Hollywood. Famously played the role of the Tin Man in a 1903 Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz.

Doug. Fairbanks (p. 101) °

Douglas Fairbanks Sr., American actor, became one of the first big stars of Hollywood after he moved there in 1915. Starred in many famous swashbuckling adventure films of the silent era. Married to Mary Pickford. In a letter in Performing Flea dated 1931, Wodehouse mentions dining with them.

In 1911, Fairbanks played the title role in a stage adaptation of A Gentleman of Leisure, adapted by John Stapleton and Wodehouse from Wodehouse’s novel (also known as The Intrusion of Jimmy). Beginning in 1921, the Herbert Jenkins reissues of A Gentleman of Leisure were dedicated to Fairbanks.

Ed Wynn (p. 101)

Vaudeville comedian, worked with the Ziegfeld Follies from 1914, but was blacklisted for a while after organising an actors’ strike in 1919. Later worked in film, radio and television.

Laurette Taylor (p. 101)

Broadway star, appeared in the film "Peg o’ My Heart” (1922).

St. Aurea (p. 107)

An 8th century abbess of Rouen (feastday 6 October). There doesn’t appear to be a hotel of that name in New York at present.

David Belasco (p. 114)

(1859–1931) Playwright, producer and manager. Known as “the Bishop of Broadway.” Well-known works include: The Girl I Left Behind Me (1893), Heart of Maryland (1895), Zaza (1899), and Madame Butterfly (1900).

Jim Corbett (p. 114)

“Gentleman Jim”: Boxer, heavyweight champion around 1900.

The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy (pp. 121–147)

This story was originally published in 1924. The story first appeared in book format in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 121–147.

espièglerie (p. 121)

(French) mischievousness, impishness, roguishness. A favourite word of Bertie’s. Cf. the legendary German prankster Till Eulenspiegel.

joie de vivre (p. 121)

(French) exuberance, healthy enjoyment of life.

Bohemian revels (p. 121)

The association of the word “Bohemian” with impecunious young Parisian writers and artists was popularised by Henri Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de Bohème (1847–9) and Puccini’s opera based on it (1896).

the other side of the river (p. 121)

The implication is that Bertie’s hotel is on the respectable right bank of the Seine. Artists would – of course – live on the left bank.

the quiet evenfall (p. 121)

Alas for her that met me,
That heard me softly call,
Came glimmering thro’ the laurels
At the quiet evenfall,
In the garden by the turrets
Of the old manorial hall..

[Tennyson, Maud,  II 215–220  (1855) ]

Hotel Avenida, Rue du Colisée (p. 122)

The Rue du Colisée is a side street of the Ave. des Champs Elysées in central Paris. There is currently no Hotel Avenida listed in Paris.

mes gants... (p. 122)

(French) “My gloves, my hat, sir’s walking stick.”
whangee is not a French word, of course, but an English term, current in the late 18th century, deriving from huang, the Chinese word for the type of bamboo used for making walking sticks.

Sorbonne (p. 122)

University, on the left bank, quite some way from Biffy’s hotel.

Clapham  ... Cricklewood (p. 124)

Cricklewood is in north London, Clapham is south of the river, about ten miles away. The implication is that only someone as absent-minded as Biffy could get the two mixed up.

Honoria Glossop (p. 126 ff)

Bertie’s first engagement to Honoria and Jeeves’s strategy for getting him out of it are recounted in The Inimitable Jeeves (1923), which thus falls chronologically somewhere between “Jeeves Takes Charge” and the present story. Presumably the first five stories adapted from My Man Jeeves are to be seen as coming before The Inimitable Jeeves and the remainder after it.

forbid the banns (p. 130)

To object to a proposed marriage. From the custom of “reading the banns,” i.e. announcing the forthcoming marriage on three consecutive Sundays before the wedding, in the church of the parish where the couple live. This custom still exists in the Church of England.

British Empire Exhibition (p. 136)

The British Empire Exhibition at Wembley opened in 1924. Due to its success it was extended into 1925. One would be lucky to cover the distance from central London to Wembley in 20 minutes today.

Act of God (p. 139)

A legal phrase used to refer to natural disasters for which no person can be held liable.

Palace of Industry (p. 140)

Most of the exhibits Bertie mentions are recorded as being part of the exhibition. It’s not certain whether there was a Planters’ Bar or a Palace of Beauty, but there was a “Women’s Pavillion.” One of the most notable items, displayed in the Canadian Pavillion, was a life-size equestrian statue of the Prince of Wales made out of butter.

Jiggle-Joggle (p. 142)

“DG” at “The Annotated Wodehouse Project” notes on another story that “A postcard from the Japan/British Exhibition at White City shows the Wiggle-Woggle to be an enormous incline. Two to four people climbed into a vehicle like an oversized bucket, and rode in that to the bottom, being buffeted along the descent by curved guide rails.” No doubt Wodehouse intended his readers to think of something similar in the current story.

Skee Ball (p. 142)

Arcade game, patented in 1909 by J. D. Estes of Philadelphia, and very popular in the 20s and 30s. It involved getting a wooden ball through one of a series of hoops at the end of a lane like a skittle alley.

Queen Elizabeth or Boadicea or someone of that period (p. 144)

Boadicea or Boudica, queen of the Iceni, a British tribe living in East Anglia, killed fighting against the Romans in 61 CE.

‘Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway,
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.’

[William Cowper, Boadicea, an Ode]

Elizabeth I (1533–1603), queen of England 1558–1603. The ruff suggests her as the more likely of the two.

knobkerrie (p. 145)

(Afrikaans) A short weighted club or throwing stick.

Chiswick 60873 (p. 145)

Continuing the running joke about London suburbs, it turns out that the young lady lives in Chiswick (or at least in the district covered by the Chiswick telephone exchange), which is in west London, not far from Wembley, but nowhere near either Clapham or Cricklewood.

It is a little surprising that she has a telephone: telephones remained an expensive luxury item out of the reach of most ordinary people in Britain until at least the 1960s, and were far more common in the USA. Wodehouse may have forgotten about this difference, having lived in the USA for the previous ten years. For the same reason, the five-digit phone number seems unlikely.

parted brass rags (p. 146)

Naval expression: ratings used to share a bag of polishing rags with a colleague (a “raggie”), so parting brass rags was a consequence of separating after a disagreement. See Very Good, Jeeves.

Without the Option (pp. 148–175)

This story was originally published in the Saturday Evening Post, June 27, 1925 and in the Strand magazine, July 1925. It was published in book form in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 148–175.

beak (p. 148)

Slang expression for a magistrate or a schoolmaster. The OED is unable to give a derivation, but there may be a link with the archaic thieves’ cant expression “harman beck” (beadle or constable).

pince-nez ... nose dive (p. 148)

Spectacles without earpieces attached to the nose (French: nose-pincher). “Nose dive” normally means to dive nose-first – Wodehouse, as usual doing something unexpected with a cliché, uses it here to mean “dive from the nose.”

five pounds *

The Bank of England inflation calculator suggests a multiplication factor of approximately 65 from 1925 to 2021, so this would be the rough equivalent of £325 or US$430 in modern terms.

Bosher Street Police Court (p. 149)

See Summer Lightning.

Leon Trotzky (p. 149) °

Lev Davidovich Bronstein (1879–1940). Three of the original versions of this story spell his adopted revolutionary surname as Trotzky, but the Strand version uses the more usual transliteration of Троцкий into the Roman alphabet as Trotsky. Member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party during the Russian revolution, Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs and founder of the Red Army. His ideas for spreading the revolution beyond Russia’s borders were opposed by Stalin, and he found himself squeezed out of power after 1922, eventually being forced into exile in 1927 and murdered in 1940. The magistrate would certainly have seen plenty of pictures of Trotsky in the papers.

aquatic contest (p. 149)

The Oxford and Cambridge boat race takes place on a four and a half mile course on the Thames (between Mortlake and Putney), on a Saturday during the Easter vacation. It was first held in 1829.

Additional details are in the notes to Laughing Gas and The Code of the Woosters.

the heart bowed down by weight of woe to weakest hope will cling *

See Sam the Sudden.

may a nephew’s curse *

A quotation from W. S. Gilbert’s libretto for the comic opera Patience (1881, with Arthur Sullivan).

trust in a higher power *

Here Bertie takes a familiar statement of religious faith and applies it to Jeeves. Conversely, in ch. 4 of The Code of the Woosters Bertie tells Gussie Fink-Nottle that “We must just put our trust in a higher power”; Gussie thinks that he means to consult Jeeves, but Bertie says that even Jeeves cannot help here. In ch. 20 of Jeeves in the Offing, Bertie says that the only thing left “is to put our trust in a higher power”; Aunt Dahlia asks Bobbie Wickham to go and fetch Jeeves, and Bertie goes along with that interpretation of his meaning.

climbed outside the pick-me-up *

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

intoning the responses (p. 152)

Intoning is a way of chanting on a single note practiced particularly in the Church of England. In the Anglican liturgy, Responses are the parts of the service which take the form of a scripted dialogue, usually between priest and clerk or between priest and congregation.

Beckley-on-the-Moor, in Yorkshire (p. 152)

Beckley is a common English placename, appearing in Durham, Hampshire, Kent, East Sussex and Oxfordshire. There is no Beckley in Yorkshire.

got the bird *

In the original theatrical sense of being hissed by an audience; see Leave It to Psmith for more.

banana oil (p. 155)

Isopentyl acetate (an ester used as a banana flavouring). Obsolete slang expression meaning nonsense, or insincere flattery.

fruity *

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

Mrs Spenser (p. 155) °

All four original versions of this story (in US and UK magazines, and in US and UK first editions of Carry On, Jeeves!) have “Mrs. Spencer” here. Reprint editions such as Penguin seem to prefer the spelling Spenser.

In The Inimitable Jeeves, Aunt Agatha is called Mrs. Gregson and her butler is called Spenser (see “Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch”). Elsewhere she is called Mrs. Spenser Gregson.

paling beneath my tan *

See The Mating Season.

Trumpington Road (p. 156)

Main road heading south out of Cambridge – the continuation of Kings Parade and Trumpington Street.

the whole strength of the company *

See Bill the Conqueror.

black cap (p. 158)

Judges would put on a black cap before pronouncing a sentence of death.

to mitt the female *

See Money for Nothing.

I think I may have told you before about this Glossop scourge *

We met her first in “Scoring Off Jeeves” (1922); the complications continued in “Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch” (also 1922; both collected as two chapters each in The Inimitable Jeeves, 1923).

put the lid on it *

See Ukridge.

poultice *

See Hot Water.

colleges ... fifty-seven (p. 161)

In the 1920s, Cambridge University had only eighteen constituent colleges, plus two women’s colleges which were not then full members of the University. Bertie (who is elsewhere said to have been at Magdalen College, Oxford) is perhaps thinking of the famous “57 varieties” slogan of H. J. Heinz, which first appeared in the 1870s.

popped up through a trap *

See Bill the Conqueror.

Girton (p. 163) °

Women’s college. Founded at Hitchin in 1869, moved to a site two miles north of Cambridge in 1873.

Wodehouse’s cousin Helen Wodehouse (1880–1964), daughter of his father’s oldest brother Rev. Philip John Wodehouse, got her first class degree at Girton in 1902, having studied both mathematics and moral sciences. After receiving a D.Phil. from Birmingham in 1906, she lectured in philosophy there and chaired the department of education at the University of Bristol, before returning to Girton as Mistress of the college in 1931. One wonders if her braininess may have contributed to the portrayals of Honoria Glossop and Heloise Pringle. [NM]

all to the mustard *

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

Sticketh-Closer-Than-a-Brother (p. 163)

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

[Proverbs 18:24]

gasper *

British slang for an inexpensive or harsh cigarette.

The Trail of Blood (p. 165)

Oddly enough, the earliest book of this title I could find (by Charles Rushton) was published by Wodehouse’s own publishers, Herbert Jenkins, in 1929. Evidently the title stuck in someone’s mind.

The book of the same title by J. M. Carroll published in the US in 1931 turns out to be a history of the Baptist Church. Bertie would have enjoyed that!

the old onion *

Late Victorian British slang for the head, especially in the phrase off one’s onion for “mad, crazy,” which is the most frequent usage of the term by Wodehouse.

Mens sana in corpore sano *

See The Code of the Woosters.

St Luke’s (p. 168) °

There is a Catholic church of St. Luke in Cambridge, but it is not especially likely that Sir Roderick would be lecturing there. More likely is that Bertie or the author has misheard “Addenbrookes,” the name of the main Cambridge hospital.

Or perhaps Wodehouse is re-creating the fictional College of St. Luke’s at one of the great Universities, from the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Three Students” by Arthur Conan Doyle. [NM]

bobbing or shingling *

Two of the terms for creating the short boyish haircuts adopted by young women in the 1920s. See Sam the Sudden for more information.

Hell’s foundations are quivering (p. 170)

Hell’s foundations quiver
At the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices,
Loud your anthems raise!

[Sabine Baring-Gould, Onward, Christian Soldiers (Hymn)]

one hundred and fifty miles (p. 171)

(ca. 240km) This distance from Cambridge suggests that Miss Sipperley lives somewhere in the North Riding.

a couple of parasangs (p. 171) °

The parasang is a Persian unit of measure, approximately equal to three miles (5km). One example in the OED for the figurative sense of parasang is taken from Jeeves in the Offing (1960).

barefoot dancer … Vision of Salome *

See Biblia Wodehousiana.

bastille (p. 173)

Fortress in Paris, used as a prison in the 17th and 18th centuries. The storming of the Bastille on the 14th July 1789 was one of the great symbolic events of the French Revolution, although there were few if any political prisoners there at the time.

failing to abate a smoky chimney *

See Summer Lightning.

move in a mysterious way (p. 173)

God moves in a mysterious way
his wonders to perform:
he plants his footsteps in the sea,
and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines,
with never-failing skill,
he treasures up his bright designs,
and works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
the clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy, and shall break
in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
but trust him for his grace;
behind a frowning providence
he hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
unfolding every hour:
the bud may have a bitter taste,
but sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
and scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
and he will make it plain.

[Hymn; Words: William Cowper, 1774]

Fixing It for Freddie (pp. 176–197)

This story was originally published in the Strand Magazine in 1911 as the Reggie Pepper story “Helping Freddie.” The story first appeared in book format in 1919 in My Man Jeeves. It was published in amended form as a Jeeves & Wooster story in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). The first serial publication in this form is recorded as the Canadian Ladies Home Journal, 1928. Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 176–197.

packing ... old kitbag (p. 176)

Pack up your troubles in your old kitbag
And smile, smile, smile
While you’ve a lucifer to light your fag
Smile, boys, that’s the style
What’s the use of worrying
It never was worth while
So: pack up your troubles in your old kitbag
And smile, smile, smile

[Popular song of the First World War, written by George Asaf and Felix Powell, (1915)]

last rose of summer (p. 176)

’Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming all alone,
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone.
No flower of her kindred,
No rose bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one,
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go sleep thou with them;
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o’er the bed
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow
When friendships decay,
And from love’s shining circle
The gems drop away!
When true hearts lie withered
And fond ones are flown
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

[Irish song, by Sir John Stevenson (1761–1833)]

Morning Post   (p. 176)

See Leave It to Psmith.

Marvis Bay (p. 177)

Marvis is a relatively frequent family name, but does not appear to occur in any British placename. There are a number of small seaside places in Dorset which would meet Bertie’s description.

“The Rosary” (p. 178)

The hours I spent with thee, dear heart,
Are as a string of pearls to me;
I count them over, every one apart,
My Rosary, my Rosary.

Each hour a pearl, each pearl a prayer,
To still a heart in absence wrung;
I tell each bead unto the end,
And there a cross is hung.

O memories that bless and burn!
O barren pain and bitter loss!
I kiss each bead, and strive at last to learn
To kiss the cross;
Sweetheart!- to kiss the cross.

[Song (1898), music by Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin (1862–1901).]

With a name Wodehouse would have been proud to invent, he was one of the most famous American composers of his day but now largely forgotten; the words are by the justly obscure Robert Cameron Rogers. The song was a huge success at the time – the extreme banality of the melody is probably the reason it is the only tune Freddie can play.

married a man named Spenser (p. 185)

In The Inimitable Jeeves, Aunt Agatha is called Mrs Gregson and her butler is called Spenser (see “Sir Roderick comes to lunch”). Elsewhere she is called Mrs Spenser Gregson.

Bailey’s Granulated Breakfast Chips (p. 186)

The fashion for breakfast cereals started with Corn Flakes, invented in 1896 by the American physician and dietary reformer Dr John Harvey Kellogg at Battle Creek, Michigan and commercialised by his brother Will. The rapid success of the product led to many imitations being brought on the market – there is an entertaining fictionalised account in T. Corraghessan Boyle’s novel The Road to Wellville (1993). Bailey’s Granulated Breakfast Chips appears to be an invented name.

Colney Hatch (p. 187)

The Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum, later Friern Hospital, opened in 1851 in the hamlet of Friern Barnet, in what is now the north London district of New Southgate.

“Hearts and flowers” (p. 191)

Out amongst the flowers sweet,
Lingers pretty Marguerite,
Sowing with her hands so white,
Future blossoms, fair and bright.

And the sunbeams lovingly
Kiss sweet Marguerite for me
Kiss my little lady sweet,
Blue eyed gentle Marguerite!

When I say, “Oh Marguerite,
All my heart is at your feet,
Turn it to a garden fair,
See it blossom ’neath your care.

“Till it yields for you alone
Wond’rous fragrance all your own.
And its sweetest flowers shall grow,
For my Marguerite I know!”

Blushes deepen in her cheek,
Ere the shy red lips can speak,
“Ah! but what if weeds should grow,
Mongst the flowers you bid me sow?”

“Love will pluck them out,” I cry,
“Trust me, Marguerite so shy,
Let my heart your garden be,
Give the seeds of love to me.”

[Music by Theodore Moses-Tobani (1893) Words (added in 1899) by Mary D. Brine.]

A standard of the cinema pianist’s repertoire for the romantic moments in silent films.

animal-trainer blokes (p. 193)

Possibly a reference to the work of Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) on the conditioned reflex, published in 1903. Pavlov trained dogs to associate the ringing of a bell with feeding, and found that the dogs began to salivate when the bell was later rung in the absence of food.

about the size of the Albert Memorial (p. 195)

The 53m high monument to Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, in London’s Hyde Park was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and included figures by several leading Victorian sculptors. The seated statue of Albert himself is by J. H. Foley and Thomas Brock. The monument took twelve years to build, being completed fourteen years after Albert’s death, in 1875. It has recently undergone a major restoration. The monument is regarded as one of the most important works of gothic revival architecture.

French windows (p. 195)

Glazed double doors opening from a room onto a patio or veranda.

From Bertie’s comment (don’t forget the flurry of theatrical language earlier when Bertie is rehearsing Tootles) it is clear that the young hero entering through the French windows was already a dramatic cliché, even then.

dresses long enough to be trodden on (p. 195)

When this story first appeared in 1919, hemlines were still down at the ankle; by 1925 they had reached the knee.

Dumb Brick *

As far as can be determined from a Google Books search, Wodehouse seems to have coined, or at least have been the first to have recorded in print, this epithet for an unintelligent and untalkative person; all references returned in the search prior to 1925 refer to silent walls of actual brick. In the initial appearance of this story in 1919, Freddie was the World’s Champion Chump. Wodehouse’s first-published use of the term was in Sam the Sudden, serialized in the Saturday Evening Post as Sam in the Suburbs; in the July 18, 1925, concluding episode, Chimp Twist refers to Soapy Molloy as “that poor dumb brick.” See Sam the Sudden for its location in the print book. [NM]

six children, a nurse, two loafers, ... (p. 196)

This sort of catalogue is a favourite comic device of Wodehouse’s: Compare the list of spectators of Ashe Marson’s exercises in Something Fresh, Chapter 1.

Clustering Round Young Bingo (pp. 198–227)

This story was originally published in the Saturday Evening Post, February 21, 1925, and in the April 1925 Strand magazine, then collected in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 198–227.

For “cluster round” in the story title, see Very Good, Jeeves. °

knee-length underclothing (p. 198)

Compare the reference in Chapter 1 of Right Ho, Jeeves to “the knee-length.”

Milady’s Boudoir (p. 198) °

Aunt Dahlia’s struggling magazine and Bertie’s sole literary effort are frequently mentioned in later stories. Wodehouse contributed stories to a number of women’s magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Redbook, the Ladies’ Home Journal, and the Woman’s Home Companion.

raspberry *

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

... author blokes have bald heads (p. 199)

Wodehouse is making a joke against himself: he had lost most of his hair by this time. Photographs from the twenties almost always show him wearing a hat or cap.

bijou *

From the French for jewel; figuratively something small, of careful workmanship.

diametrically in the centre of the eyeball (p. 199)

As a diameter is – by definition – a line through the centre of a sphere or circle, this is tautologous. Bertie is saying the same thing twice, for comic emphasis.

Peabody and Simms (p. 199)

Apparently fictitious. Just possibly, the names might have been suggested by two nineteenth century American intellectuals, from opposite sides of the Mason-Dixon line, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804–1894), writer and educationalist, disciple of Froebel, and sister-in-law to Hawthorne; and William Gilmore Simms (1806–1870), novelist and biographer, best known as author of historical fiction set in his native South.

Prince of Wales (p. 200)

Courtesy title of the British crown prince (heir to the throne). The future Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor (1894–1972) received the title in 1910. He was very popular as Prince of Wales, and had a powerful impact on men’s fashions, starting the move towards a less formal look (soft collars and Windsor-knotted ties, sports jackets, V-neck sweaters, etc.). It is not surprising that Jeeves, as a sartorial conservative, would have disapproved.

Le Touquet (p. 200)

Le Touquet-Paris Plage is a seaside resort in northern France, about 15km south of Boulogne. Still very fashionable in the twenties, although it declined in popularity with the upper classes when they started going to the Riviera in summer as well as winter.

with soft silk shirt complete (p. 200) *

See Bill the Conqueror.

“…you know what housemaids are.” (p. 200) *

Both magazine versions follow this with Bertie’s explanation: “Females who get housemaid’s knee.”

typhoon, simoom, or sirocco (p. 200)

Typhoon: violent storm occurring in South Asia, especially from July to October.

Simoom: sand-wind which sweeps across the African and Asian deserts in the spring and summer

Sirocco: oppressively hot wind, blowing from the north coast of Africa over the Mediterranean

Covent Garden ... a deep top-dressing of old cabbages and tomatoes (p. 201) °

Covent Garden was the site of London’s fruit and vegetable market from 1671 until 1974, when it moved to a new site south of the river. It remains an area favoured by publishers and the like.

Top-dressing is the British gardener’s term for vegetable matter, compost, manure, and the like applied to the surface of soil to enrich it, to control weeds, and to limit evaporation; the American equivalent would be “mulch.”

Mrs. Little (p. 201)

Bingo Little and his future wife first appeared in the stories collected in The Inimitable Jeeves. They also appear without Jeeves and Wooster in some stories in the collection Eggs, Beans and Crumpets.

east of Leicester Square (p. 201)

Leicester Square is at the eastern end of London’s aristocratic district, Mayfair, a few streets west of Covent Garden.

pie (p. 201)

Trivial (contraction of ‘easy as pie’).

This Kid Mitchell was looked on as a coming champ in those days. I guess I looked pie to him.

The Coming of Bill (1920) i. v. 54

“How do you propose to make your entry?”
“Easy as pie. Odd-job man. They always want odd-job men.”

Sam the Sudden (1925) xix. 156

“Interesting Llewellyn in Silver River would be pie, but I’d also have to interest her, and she’s not the right woman for that.”

Pearls, Girls & Monty Bodkin (1972) iv. 53

hummers (p. 201)

Originally a hummer was someone or something that showed great activity, but by the early 20th century it had also colloquially come to mean someone or something of particular excellence.

“Well, you can’t get there quicker than in my car. She’s a hummer!”

A Damsel in Distress (1919)

a wicked ragoût (p. 202)

“Wicked” in the slang sense of excellent seems to have come in early in the 20th century. A ragout is a kind of stew or goulash made with meat and vegetables.

immersed to the gills *

As with tonsils, Wodehouse uses “gills” in jocular variants on “up to the neck” meaning “completely.”

For another instance, see Very Good, Jeeves.

the year Bluebottle won the Cambridgeshire (p. 202)

The Cambridgeshire Handicap, run at Newmarket in October, is one of the main races of the horseracing calendar. The horse Bluebottle appears to be fictitious. Wodehouse often avoids committing himself to a date by referring to a horserace.

got in amongst (p. 202)

Annoyed, upset. This sense seems to be peculiar to Wodehouse, and is not recorded in the OED.

Possibly it is a playful variant of “to get [in] amongst the enemy/the opposing team,” an expression Wodehouse might have picked up from reports of rugby matches in his schooldays.

the latest yodel *

The newest thing, the height of fashion. Probably a humorous mistranslation of the French le dernier cri, literally the last cry.

ris de veau à la financière (p. 203) °

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

Schopenhauer ... Pollyanna (p. 204)

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), philosopher, author of The World as Will and Representation, was noted for his pessimism and misogyny.

The eponymous heroine of the children’s story Pollyanna, by Eleanor Hodgman Porter (1868—1920), was noted for her naïve optimism. Mary Pickford starred in the film version released in 1919.

anything at all wonky (p. 204) *

The adjective wonky, meaning unreliable, unstable, “flaky” or shaky, is older than most of us suspect; the OED cites first a 1919 letter from Lord Northcliffe. Wodehouse used it again in The Small Bachelor (1927): “noting his hostess’s agitation, [Lord Hunstanton] hoped that nothing had gone wonky with the dinner.” In “Jeeves and the Spot of Art” (1929; in Very Good, Jeeves, 1930) Bertie notes: “All this is very wonky, Jeeves.” This seems to be the last time Wodehouse used the adjective.

St. John’s Wood (p. 204)

Leafy area of Victorian villas near Lord’s cricket ground in north-west London, much favoured by the more respectable 19th century artists.

dining with the Borgias ... cyanide in the consommé (p. 204–205)

Lucrezia Borgia (1480–1519), daughter of Pope Alexander VI, was notorious for participation in her family’s aristocratic intrigues, including a number of poison plots. Nothing has ever been proved against her, apparently, but it makes for great stories, as Victor Hugo and Donizetti found.

Potassium cyanide is a poison. Consommé is a clear soup – one of the many, many soup synonyms in Bertie’s vocabulary. Elsewhere, Wodehouse used “Strychnine in the Soup” (1932) as the title of a short story.

toddled down to the festive *

Short for “the festive board”—the dinner table.

consommé pâté d’Italie ... (p. 205)

consommé pâté d’Italie – clear soup made with Italian pasta

paupiettes de sole à la princesse - Paupiettes are strips of sole fillets rolled up into little cylinders. According to A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition, A E & D A Bender (OUP, 1995), à la princesse refers to a dish garnished with asparagus tips and truffles or noisette potatoes.

caneton aylesbury à la broche – Aylesbury duckling (a type of white, domestic duck) roasted on a spit

Mr. George Travers (p. 206) °

Much confusion has been caused by this reference. Mark Hodson’s original note is reproduced in smaller type below, but I [NM] find it unconvincing, for reasons noted below it. It seems simplest to assume that George Travers is the brother of Tom Travers, and thus became a courtesy uncle when Tom married Dahlia.

Further confusion came when the editors of the Jeeves Omnibus/The World of Jeeves volumes substituted “Lord Yaxley” (né George Wooster, Bertie’s other Uncle George) for “Mr. George Travers” in Jeeves’s announcement here.

Jeeves could be mistaken here. If Uncle George is related to Tom Travers, it is unlikely that he would be Bertie’s uncle (Tom is only an uncle by marriage), and it would be rather an odd coincidence for him to share the surname if they are not related. In any case, evidence elsewhere suggests that Uncle George must be a Wooster.

“Adrian Mulliner” (a.k.a. David Rosenbaum) summarises the evidence in the Great Aunt/Uncle Mystery thus:

1. In Right Ho, Jeeves (Penguin, 1983 — page 227), we read: “The years rolled away from her, and she was once more the Dahlia Wooster of the old yoicks-and-tantivy days."

Dahlia’s maiden name was Wooster — thus she is Bertie’s father’s sister. Of course, one could claim that not all Woosters are related.

2. In Very Good, Jeeves (Penguin — page 162 – The Love that Purifies), we read: “I now perceived that it belonged to a rather moth-eaten septuagenarian of the name of Anstruther, an old friend of Aunt Dahlia’s late father."

If Aunt Dahlia is Bertie’s father’s sister, her “late father” is also Bertie’s grandfather! Would he not refer to Anstruther as a friend of his own grandfather? Still, this is not conclusive.

3. Also in Very Good, Jeeves (Penguin — page 229 – The Ordeal of Young Tuppy), we read: “In coming to the decision to give this Witherspoon my custom, I had been actuated by several reasons, not counting the fact that having married Aunt Dahlia’s husband’s younger sister, Katherine, he is by way of being a sort of uncle of mine.”

If Tom is the blood relative, Katherine is also, and then Witherspoon is much more than “a sort of uncle”

4. In Jeeves in the Offing (Penguin, 1982 — page 73), we read:

“I could not forget that when I was at Malvern House, Bramley-on-Sea, this relative by marriage had often sent me postal orders sometimes for as much as ten bob.”

I take that “by marriage” settles the whole issue in a most satisfactory manner. In fact, we see now that Bertie was actually quite young — a stripling — when Tom and Dahlia married.

Regarding source 2, we are forced to say that since Bertie needs to explain why Anstruther was at Dahlia’s, he refers to Anstruther’s connection to Dahlia, leaving himself out of the picture, so as not to confuse things.

Just to round off the discussion, it is true that in Carry On, Jeeves in “Clustering Round Young Bingo” there is reference to Mr. George Travers, Bertie’s uncle, who “sorely oppressed him (Bertie) in his youth” This Uncle George also knows Tom, and this would seem to indicate that it is the Traverses to whom Bertie is related. However, I think that in light of the above proofs, we can safely conclude that George and Tom are not related, and George knows Tom solely through the Bertie connection. Finally, I would like to note that Bertie clearly has two “Uncles George”— in Very Good, Jeeves (Penguin — page 223 – Indian Summer of an Uncle), Bertie has to "save” Lord Yaxley — his uncle George Wooster — from a marriage which Aunt Agatha opposes (of course).

“Adrian”/David is of course right about point 1, that Dahlia is Bertie’s father’s sister. [This is confirmed in Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, ch. 12, “Jeeves and the Greasy Bird” (1965/66), and Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen (1974).] Point 2 is not conclusive, as admitted, especially if Bertie never knew his own grandfather, and Adrian’s later “Regarding source 2” paragraph seems reasonable. Point 3 is consistent with Tom being an uncle by marriage, his brother George being a courtesy uncle, and his sister Katherine’s husband Witherspoon a sort of uncle. The quotation in point 4 is about Uncle Tom, and settles the point that Bertie was young when Tom married Dahlia.

All is well until the final paragraph; there’s no reason why the young Bertie could not have been “sorely oppressed” by a courtesy uncle, so I disagree with the conclusion about George and Tom. The last “Finally” sentence is correct, of course. Note that George Travers in “Clustering Round Young Bingo” calls his own brother “Tom” and George Wooster/Lord Yaxley in “Indian Summer of an Uncle” calls his own sister “Agatha” without other specification. [NM]

Harrogate ... Buxton (p. 206) °

Harrogate is a spa town in Yorkshire; Buxton is a spa in the Derbyshire Peak District. Both are renowned for their mineral waters, both for drinking and bathing, as a “cure” for the aftereffects of rich living.

the sword of what’s-his-name (p. 206)

Damocles. In classical mythology he was a courtier of Dionysius the first. At a dinner, Dionysius had a sword suspended over Damocles’s head by a single hair to show him the precarious nature of rank and power.

it’s the edge *

This figurative usage of “edge”—parallel to Bertie’s more frequent use of “limit” for the maximum provocation that one can stand—is cited in the OED. (The only earlier citation in this sense is from Wodehouse’s occasional collaborator Ian Hay, in 1911.)

warthog *

See Bill the Conqueror.

“half god, half prattling, mischievous child” (p. 209)

Possibly an echo of Pope’s Essay on Man, where this construction appears a number of times, e.g. “Created half to rise, and half to fall” and “Taught half by reason, half by mere decay.”

Another possibility is Browning, The Ring and the Book:
 “O lyric Love, half angel and half bird,
 And all a wonder and a wild desire.”

ask of me what you will even unto half my kingdom (p. 209)

21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;
22 and when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
23  And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.
24  And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

[Mark 6:21–24 (a similar expression occurs in Esther 5:3 and 7:2)]

See also Biblia Wodehousiana.

eating our bread and salt (p. 210)

Bread and salt are traditional symbols of hospitality, used to welcome guests in many cultures, including ancient Greece. The tradition still survives in countries like Russia and Ukraine. Someone who has eaten your bread and salt is a guest, and is thus under certain obligations to you as host.

the surgeon’s knife *

An allusion to accepting temporary pain in order to effect a longer-lasting improvement.

parlourmaid ... greengrocer (p. 211)

The Littles’ household is too small to have a full-time manservant, so they normally employ a parlourmaid to answer the door and wait at table. According to Mrs. Beeton (1888), a manservant would be paid roughly twice as much as a maid.

It was common for local shopkeepers (who would be free in the evenings and might well have been in full-time service in their youth) to hire themselves out as extra servants.

Suppose you get in cheap-made dishes from the pastrycook’s, and hire a couple of greengrocers, or carpet beaters, to figure as footmen, dismissing honest Molly, who waits on ordinary days. [...] Suppose you pretend to be richer and grander than you ought to be – you are a Dinner-giving Snob.

[W. M. Thackeray, The Book of Snobs, (1846–7) Ch. XIX]

what these coves call the sex complex *

As with “The Inferiority Complex of Old Sippy” (1926), Wodehouse is showing that he is up to date with terms which were fairly new in popular culture at the time, based on the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Adler. Outside of professional texts the earliest OED citations in print are from the mid-1920s; in fact, the OED’s first citation of “sex-complex” in popular fiction is from Arnold Bennett in 1927, so this usage predates that one. (I have submitted this one to the OED. —NM)

your uncle’s Memoirs (p. 213) °

See Jeeves Takes Charge.

In the magazine appearances of this story, the discussion between Bingo and Bertie omits all mention of Uncle Willoughby’s Memoirs and the events at Easeby.

matinée (p. 213)

A theatrical performance given in the afternoon. (French: ‘morning’ – actors get up later than the rest of us.)

cylinder ... stenographer (p. 213)

Rosie has dictated the article onto a dictaphone, which records sound on a wax cylinder. Edison’s ‘Ediphone’ and the Columbia ‘Dictiphone’ first appeared in the late 1880s, and the system remained in use until after the second world war, when magnetic tape recorders became available.

A stenographer is a person who transcribes speech into shorthand. Shorthand (the Pittman system was introduced in 1837 and the Gregg system in 1888, although other systems have been in existence since ancient times) is a difficult skill to master; the point of the dictaphone was to allow the expensive stenographer to be replaced by a less-skilled person who could type directly from the recording (what we would now call an audio-typist). Thus Wodehouse is using the term in a less precise sense than the usual one.

Wodehouse describes his own unsuccessful attempt to write by dictating to a stenographer in the preface to the 1975 Barrie & Jenkins edition of Thank You, Jeeves (also in later reprints) and in Over Seventy (1957).

police whistles (p. 214)

Before the advent of two-way radio, police officers were provided with a whistle of distinctive tone for summoning assistance.

old buffer *

See Uncle Fred in the Springtime.

Pekingese dog (p. 215)

Wodehouse owned many Pekes over the years: his interest in this breed of dogs seems to have started with his marriage in 1914. Rosie’s Pekes also feature in some of the stories in Eggs, Beans and Crumpets.

phlegmatic *

See Right Ho, Jeeves.

when I legged it to America to elude my Aunt Agatha *

Rather an unusual way of describing the situation. As detailed in the opening paragraphs of chapter 2 of this book, “The Artistic Career of Corky”, it was Aunt Agatha who sent him over in the first place; the same explanation is in the nineteenth paragraph of the original appearance of that story as “Leave It to Jeeves” (1916).

The reasons for sending Bertie over to America are detailed in the first Jeeves/Wooster story, “Extricating Young Gussie” (1915), in which Jeeves scarcely appears and Bertie’s surname is unspecified.

a policeman and a parlourmaid ... “What’s all this?” (p. 216)

Domestics who dally with the local policeman feature in the plots of several other books. See for example Hot Water and The Mating Season

Policemen in Wodehouse always say “What’s all this?” and “Ho!” This is a running joke throughout the canon, presumably sending up the way the walk-on policemen in plays of the time talk.

the sixteenth instant (p. 217)

The 16th of the present month. A formula often used in official reports and business correspondence, it sounds comically pompous if used in speech.

tell it to the magistrate *

In other words, to the judge who presides over the police court where offenders are first brought for arraignment or, in simple cases, summary judgment.

not a parlourmaid’s place (p. 218)

See p 211 above. Cleaning and dusting would be the job of a housemaid.

the cross which marks the spot where the accident occurred *

See A Damsel in Distress.

immortal rind (p. 221) °

“Immortal rind” is slang for impudence or cheek. Wodehouse also uses “crust” elsewhere to mean the same thing. The OED formerly recorded A. M. “Pitcher” Binstead, one of the illustrious members of the Pelican Club, as being the first to use “immortal rind” in print in 1903; see Something Fresh for a 1901 quotation from George Ade which is now the OED’s earliest citation.

dogs (p. 221)

“Dogs” are feet – from rhyming slang “dogs’-meat.” Cited in the OED from Leave It to Psmith, ch. 10, p. 211: You’ll pick up your dogs and run round as quick as you can make it.

two hundred and six miles *

In the Saturday Evening Post version of the story, the distance is given as 203 miles.

warm crescent saline and magnesia *

A Google search for this exact phrase only returned quotations from the present story. It turns out that Harrogate has a variety of mineral-water wells, as described in a 1920–21 brochure (text transcription online); of the 87 known springs, sixteen are used for drinking; the rest for bathing. Under the heading Sulphur Waters—Saline—Mild are listed “The Magnesia Water” and “The Crescent Saline Water.” So Uncle George’s prescription was for a mix of two of these mineral waters.

The Crescent saline water was apparently discovered in 1783, and mentioned in 1791 by Dr. Thomas Garnett, according to a 1928 article in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine. Analyses of these waters continues in modern times; one 1996 publication is abstracted online.

I [NM] searched in vain for a definition of “crescent” with a chemical application, then found a map of some of the mineral water wells showing well #4 adjacent to a short curved street labeled Crescent, heading eastward from Promenade Square, just north of the Royal Pump Room. Thus Crescent should be capitalized as a proper name for the location of the saline well. Chemical analyses of the magnesia well follow on page 52 of the same book (note that some other waters have a much stronger sulphur content); the Crescent saline contents are detailed on page 53. Discussions of the procedures for dispensing the waters both cold and hot (as the springs are not themselves thermal) and the medical reasons for administering them follow. The discussion on p. 57 will be clearer when “aperient” is defined as a synonym for laxative.

getting outside *

See The Inimitable Jeeves.

Lady Bablockhythe’s Frank Recollections of a Long Life (p. 223)

Bablockhythe is a hamlet on the Thames near Oxford. The pub there has (or had) its own ferry over the river.

Compare Lady Carnaby’s Memories of Eighty Interesting Years (“Jeeves Takes Charge”) and Lady Wensleydale’s memoirs (referred to by Lord Tilbury in Chapter 1 of Heavy Weather as Sixty Years Near the Knuckle in Mayfair).

Norman Murphy suggests in The Reminiscences of Galahad Threepwood that the original for Lady Carnaby/Wensleydale/Bablockhythe is Adeline de Horsey, countess of Cardigan and Lancastre. She was for many years the mistress of Lord Cardigan of the Charge of the Light Brigade, marrying him after the death of his first wife. After his death, she married the Portugese Comte de Lancastre. Her book My Recollections appeared in 1909.

smelled like a leak in the gas-pipe (p. 223) °

Before the advent of “natural gas” from the North Sea in the 1960s, piped gas in Britain was produced from coal and had a significant sulphur content, like the Harrogate spa water. Natural gas, by itself odorless, is now distributed with added scent, often the sulfur compound mercaptan, to give it a rotten-egg smell in order to make leaks more easily detected.

Hurst Park (p. 225)

Racecourse near the Thames in Surrey, also the scene of duels and prizefights in the 18th and 19th centuries, and motorcycle races in the early years of the 20th. Now a housing development. The former grandstand was moved to Mansfield Town’s football ground in the 1960s.

Bertie Changes His Mind (pp. 228–245)

This story was originally published in 1922. It was published in book form in Carry On, Jeeves! (1925 in UK, 1927 in US). It is the only Jeeves story to be narrated by Jeeves himself (Ring for Jeeves/The Return of Jeeves (1953/1954), in which Bertie does not appear, has a third-person narrator).

Page references are to the  1999 Penguin edition of Carry On, Jeeves, in which the story runs from pp. 228–245.

influenza (p. 228)

This story appeared two years after the end of the “Spanish influenza” pandemic of 1918–1920, which is believed to have killed between twenty and fifty million people around the world. (By comparison, World War I claimed nine million lives.)

Emerson (p. 229)

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1820–1905), American essayist. The quotation is from his essay on Friendship. Wodehouse may well have plucked this one straight out of Bartlett — he wouldn’t have been likely to read Emerson at school, and it doesn’t sound like the sort of thing he would read for pleasure.

I wish I had a daughter ... My sister will be back from India (p. 230)

This story seems to be Bertie’s only reference to his sister, who is named on p 245 as Mrs Scholfield. Wodehouse himself acquired a ready-made (step-)daughter, Leonora, on his marriage in 1914. 

sang-froid (p. 230)

Poise, equanimity (literally: cold blood).

purple socks (p. 231) °

See “A Letter of Introduction” and “Startling Dressiness of a Lift Attendant” in The Inimitable Jeeves (originally as the magazine story “Jeeves and the Chump Cyril”).

spare seats ... Sunbeam ... Wolseley (p. 232)

Apparently this is not Bertie’s usual two-seater (referred to elsewhere as a “Widgeon Seven”), but a larger saloon car or tourer. As today’s black cabs still are, some such cars were provided with backward-facing folding seats against the partition between the front and back seats. The back seat would have been too far away for Peggy conveniently to talk to Jeeves and Wooster if they were both sitting in the front, particularly if it was an open tourer.

The Sunbeam Motor Company was founded by John Marston in Wolverhampton in 1899. In 1920 they merged with Talbot and Darracq, but Sunbeam kept its separate identity, specialising in high-performance cars, until being taken over by Rootes in 1935.

Wolseley cars were made in Birmingham from 1895 to 1975, although the company was taken over by Morris (Lord Nuffield’s group, later to be British Leyland) in 1927. The famous illuminated radiator badge only appeared in the 1930s.

“The Mr Wooster?” “Bertram Wooster” (p. 234)

If you put the stress on the first name, the name “Bertram Wooster” sounds rather like that of the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), some of whose major works on analytical philosophy appeared in the early 1920s. He would have been a plausible friend for Professor Mainwaring although, as someone who had been imprisoned for his pacifist activities during the war and had just been divorced, he might not have been considered a suitable person to address a girls’ school.

extempore (p. 235)

improvised, off-the-cuff.

page boy in a school for young ladies (p. 236)

C. Northcote Parkinson makes much of this rare reference to Jeeves’ youth in his “ghosted autobiography” Jeeves: A Gentleman’s Personal Gentleman (1979).

maids ... parlourmaid (p. 237)

Jeeves is well-aware of the social gulf between mere maids and parlourmaids, of course. In a household without a manservant, a parlourmaid would be employed to answer the door and wait at table (cf. “Clustering Round Young Bingo”).

such a lark (p. 237)

We tend to associate “lark” in this sense with Joe Gargery in Great Expectations (“Such larks, Pip...”), but it seems to have been current at least as a slang expression since the beginning of the 19th century. The OED quotes Byron using it in a letter.

Many greetings to you (p. 241) °

The song on which this is apparently based was first published in 1893, to a tune by Mildred J. Hill, a schoolteacher, the lyrics written by her sister, Patty Smith Hill, originally being ‘Good morning dear teacher, good morning to you’. This version was used in schools throughout America. Wodehouse has modified the form slightly, presumably to avoid any accusation of plagiarism.

[Patty Smith Hill subsequently republished the song with the new lyrics “Happy Birthday to You” in 1935. In this guise it became a huge hit in the Broadway show As Thousands Cheer. It remained in copyright until 2015, when the copyright claim was overruled by a court, and Warner Chappell Music agreed to refund $14 million in license fees previously collected.]

Romano’s in the Strand (p. 242)

Romano’s Restaurant at 399 Strand was a favourite resort of the members of the Pelican Club in the 1890s. It was opened in the 1840s by Alfonso Nicolino Romano (“the Roman,” d.1901) and survived until the second world war. The building was demolished in 1956 and replaced by an office block (see Chapter 2 of Norman Murphy’s Reminiscences of Galahad Threepwood ).

The Strand is one of London’s main East-West thoroughfares, and in the nineties was still the site of most of the fashionable theatres, restaurants and nightclubs (Shaftesbury Avenue later took over much of this role).

The Law Courts are at the eastern end of the Strand (where it becomes Fleet St), on the northern side. There is a slight southward curve in the Strand, which makes Bertie’s statement at least plausible. According to Murphy, the original bet was made by Shifter Goldberg against the Roman.

The two churches on “islands” in the middle of the road are St Mary-le-Strand (opposite Bush House) and St Clement Danes (near the Law Courts).

A similar piece of inappropriate advice is Monty Bodkin’s handy tip to the young readers of Tiny Tots concerning the amount of water that a whisky bottle can hold (Heavy Weather, Ch. 2).

the one about the stockbroker and the chorus girl (p. 243)

One of the many improper stories that Wodehouse fails to tell us...

tonneau (p. 244)

The rear (passenger) compartment of a car, especially an open car (cf. note to p. 232).

"Very good, sir” (p. 245)

As usual, Jeeves has the last word.

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