Monday, February 18, 2013

Blandings Castle by P. G. Wodehouse

Blandings Castle is a wonderful place. With fresh air, quiet, and gardens full of beautiful flowers, it is just the place to be alone. If only the ninth Earl of Emsworth could be alone to raise his prize pumpkins and pigs in peace. There always seem to be young people moping about, however, each wanting to fall in love with an unsuitable other young person. Take his son Freddie wanting to marry a young American woman who happens to be some relation of his gardener. Who ever heard of such a thing? Freddie would have to move to America. Hey, what! There's a thought. It would get him out of the old ancestor's hair. 

Blandings Castle is the setting for a series of books by P. G. Wodehouse. While I have read numerous Wodehouse books featuring the ever resource Jeeves, man servant of Bertie Wooster, I had not entered the world of Lord Emsworth until I read a collection of five stories called simply Blandings Castle tucked inside an anthology A Bounty of Blandings.

Being Wodehouse stories, each is filled with silly people facing small problems blown out of proportion. They respond with actions that escalate their problems. Perhaps this is so funny because in a sense it is what many of us actually do. What I particularly like about the five stories in this collection is that what Lord Emsworth at first dreads is exactly what he comes to want in the end.

There are many Blandings books and stories. I may never lack something fun to read.

Wodehouse, P. G. A Bounty of Blandings. W. W. Norton, 2011. 656p. ISBN 9780393341270.

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