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Posts Tagged ‘Women’

Oh, Woman, Woman, I said to myself, not for the first time, feeling that the sooner that sex was suppressed, the better it would be for all of us.

(Bertie Wooster)

Jane Abbott

We run into her in Summer Moonshine. A girl of spirited nature, she is courageous herself and is an admirer of courage in others. She is fair minded and does not like reneging on her promises. She is a small, slim and pretty girl of twenty, with fair hair and a boyish jauntiness of carriage. Often, in her cornflower-blue eyes, there is a tender light which comes into the eyes of women when they are dealing with a refractory child or a misguided parent.

Her conscious but perplexed soul is torn between two love interests. The manner in which she goes about making up her mind is a quality for many of us to emulate. Analytics and mindfulness does not help her; a heartful approach to problem solving alone does.

Jill Mariner

We get introduced to her in Jill the Reckless. She is portrayed as a sweet-natured and wealthy young woman who, at the opening, is engaged to a knighted Member of Parliament, Sir Derek Underhill. Her journey through life is depicted as one through financial disaster, an adventure with a parrot, a policeman and the colourful proletariat, a broken engagement, an awkward stay with some grasping relatives, employment as a chorus girl, and the eventual finding of true love.

Lavender Briggs

Secretary to Lord Emsworth in Service With a Smile, Miss Briggs is a tall young girl, with a cold, haughty eye, harlequin glasses, and what her former employer Lord Tilbury describes as hair like seaweed. She becomes the bane of Emsworth’s life with her haughty efficiency. Requiring capital to start her own typing business, her schemes to acquire it by stealing the Empress gets her fired from her job, but her friendship with Uncle Fred sees her through.

Her character has hidden depths. If you happen to know of any teetotal bar, do please convey the details to her; she would much appreciate the kind gesture.

Whereas Lord Emsworth considers Miss Briggs to be worse than Rupert Baxter, Galahad Threepwood, as of Galahad at Blandings, believes that she may not have been as intolerable as Rupert Baxter, but she had come very close to achieving that difficult feat.

Rosie M Banks

Rosie M. Banks is a fictional romance novelist. A tall, lissome girl with soft, soulful brown eyes and a nice figure, she is devoted to her Pekingese dogs, owning as many as six at one time.

She is the author of works such as: All for LoveA Red, Red Summer RoseMadcap MyrtleOnly a Factory GirlThe Courtship of Lord StrathmorlickThe Woman Who Braved AllMervyn Keene, Clubman‘Twas Once in MayBy Honour Bound; and A Kiss at Twilight. She also wrote the Christmas story “Tiny Fingers”.

According to Jeeves, her books make for a very light, attractive reading. But Bertie describes her writing as some of the most pronounced and widely-read tripe ever put on the market.

She is a fine husband-tamer. Bingo Little, who, in his bachelor days, kept coming under the spell of as many as six females, gets transformed into a highly devoted husband in his post-nuptials phase of life. When it comes to keeping his lady-love happy and contented, there is little that he leaves to chance. When his sporting spirits make him blow up a month’s allowance on an animal which refuses to live up to his expectations, he even takes up the onerous task of tutoring someone like Thos. He quietly bears the dietary deprivations and disparaging remarks in the presence of Laura Pyke, Rosie’s school chum.

 Sally Nicholas 

She is described as a small, trim, wisp of a girl with the tiniest hands and feet, the friendliest of smiles, and a dimple that comes and goes in the curve of her rounded chin. Her eyes are a bright hazel; her hair a soft mass of brown. She has an air of distinction and carried her youth like a banner.

A democratic girl, pomposity is a quality which she thoroughly dislikes, even if it is her brother who is the guilty party. She works in NY as a taxi dancer and vigorously pursues her theatrical ambitions. A role model, indeed, for business leaders and start-up founders of our times. (Adventures of Sally)

Dr Sally Smith  

She is an American general practitioner in medicine, with abiding interest in golf. Her skills at the game impress even someone like the nerve specialist Sir Hugo Drake.

When Bill nervously confesses his feelings for her, he gets a rather unemotional response. Sally says she still has not met the right man. Sally continues to turn down Bill until she sees him do some paperwork for his dairy farm. Seeing that he does in fact work, she ends up falling for him.

She is described as a small girl and as being extremely pretty.

Sue Brown

A chorus girl, Sue is the daughter of Dolly Henderson. A tiny girl, mostly large eyes and a wide smile, she has a dancer’s figure and catches the eye of many a man, including Percy Pilbeam and in the past Monty Bodkin, to whom she was engaged for a spell, but when we first meet her in Summer Lightning, she has been fiancée to Ronnie Fish for some nine months.

Galahad Threepwood, who adored her mother in his youth, has a fatherly affection for her, and aids her considerably in her hopes of marrying Ronnie; although his sister Julia at one point accuses Gally of being her actual father, in fact Dolly Henderson married Jack Cotterleigh, an Irish Guardsman, while Gally was in South Africa. After her mother’s death, they moved to America for a time.

 

Veronica Wedge

The daughter of Lady Hermione and Colonel Wedge is a spectacularly attractive girl, a fact which never ceases to amaze her doting father and attracts many a fashion photographer whenever she appears in public. She has a direct way about her, and invariably follows her parents’ instructions to the letter, even when it comes to falling in love. Her extreme beauty is matched by her extreme simplicity of mind, a fact which does not put off Tipton Plimsoll when he meets her shortly before her twenty-third birthday, in Full Moon.

Tipton cashes in on her love for jewelry, eventually persuading her to elope to a registry office in the climax of Galahad at Blandings. 

 

Of Female Empowerment

Staunch advocates of gender parity will be pleased to note that Wodehouse has created women characters which not only call the shots in their men’s lives but also pursue their own career interests with a single-minded devotion, alacrity and aplomb. They make a wide range of career choices and make a success of the same.

Of course, his men do make unkindly comments about women. But they also recognize women’s enablement of the human race going. In any case, Wodehouse is not like Nietzsche, who warns the better sort of reader not to venture out among the ladies without a stick or a whip. Some clans may drag their women about by the hair, but Wodehouse’s gentlemen are far too inhibited. So far from going after women with whips, they can’t even go back on incautious engagements—a man’s word is his bond, and it wouldn’t do for a preux chevalier to refuse an offer made by someone from the tribe of the delicately nurtured. Nor do they believe in bandying about the name of any woman. Even if they are aware that they happen to be merely a stop-gap arrangement in the scheme of things of someone like Bobby Wickham, who, by quoting their despicable candidature to their discerning parents, merely wish them to approve the alliance really intended. We end up realizing that Wodehouse agrees with Macbeth’s witches, at least when they say that fair may be foul: he presents men as sorely tried by the fair sex.

Even conscientious men, duly frocked in the service of the Lord, find that women are apt to bring them as close to the peril of being defrocked as would be humanely possible. Stiffy Byng tries to get her man to pinch a policeman’s helmet to even a private score.

Women are not like gentle­men, who have a code in these things:

She was fully aware that she was doing something which even by female standards was raw, but she didn’t care. The whole fact of the matter is that all this modern emancipation of women has resulted in their getting it up their noses and not giving a damn what they do.

A Unique Therapeutic Proposition

In a way, there is much in common between Wodehouse’s works and those of Jane Austen. Both happen to follow strict codes. Both play out as movies rated under the category ‘U’, thereby making them a family affair. Sex is taboo.

In Plumsville, friendly romps and jocular embraces are taken a jaundiced view of. Impersonation and white lies dished out in the course of a boat ride meet with approval; So do the pinching of umbrellas, policemen’s helmets, scarabs, silver cow creamers and such members of the animal kingdom as cats, dogs and pigs. Bunging in a policeman into a cooling stream is not scoffed at. One is forever living in a world which is essentially decent, uplifting and far away from the kind of trials and tribulations one faces in real life. Practical jokes do get played, albeit within limits.

Plum’s works happen to be an effective balm for a weary and wounded soul. Women of all kinds, irrespective of their Goofiness Quotient, contribute in no small measure towards building this unique therapeutic property of his works.

(Related Posts:

Some More Shades of Women in Plumsville 3.0

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville 2.0 (Aunts and Seniors)

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/different-shades-of-women-in-plumsville

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/of-bertie-goofy-females-and-the-wooster-clan

https://honoriaplum.com/2017/02/20/money-in-the-bank-review-by-john-lagrue

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/02/14/some-tips-on-the-art-and-science-of-courtship-from-rupert-psmith)

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You know, the more I see of women, the more I think that there ought to be a law. Something has got to be done about this sex, or the whole fabric of society will collapse, and then, what silly asses we shall all look.

(Bertie Wooster)

 

 

 

Aline Peters

Freddie Threepwood’s fiancee in Something Fresh, Aline is the daughter of J Peterson Peters, the American millionaire. She is a gentle, kindly girl who dotes on her father to the extent of starving herself to support his struggle with dyspepsia, and is in turn adored by George Emerson, who she finds too volcanic and over-dashing for her tastes.

Her old school friend Joan Valentine thinks she has been spoiled by too much ease, and that having to fight a little for her independence would be the making of her; Emerson, on the other hand, thinks her perfect. She eventually realizes her long-standing love for him, when he shows signs of weakness and brings out her mothering instinct.

One of the interesting aspects of life highlighted by Plum in Something Fresh is the personality contrast between Aline Peters and Joan Valentine. One is born with a silver spoon in her mouth, so to say, whereas the other has to struggle through life to survive and do well.

 

Anne Benedick

Her laugh is so musical and silvery that she evokes deeper emotions in Jeff; something he realizes is nothing but unalloyed love. Her laugh conjures up visions of a cozy home on a winter’s night, with one’s slippers on one’s feet, the dog on one’s lap, an open fire in the grate and the good old pipe drawing nicely.

We meet her in Money in the Bank. She is 23 years old and a secretary-companion to Clarissa. In secret, she is engaged to Lionel.

For Jeff Miller, at the first sight of Anne Benedick:

There was something about this visitor that seemed to touch some hidden chord in his being, sending joy bells and torchlight processions parading through the echoing corridors of his soul. Romeo, he fancied, must have experienced a somewhat similar, though weaker, emotion on first beholding Juliet.

When Jeff gets hit on the head during a tussle with the Molloys, Anne cries out for Jeff’s sake. The two get engaged in a cellar. The true location of the diamonds occurs to Lord Uffenham and he retrieves them from that spot. Anne agrees to marry Jeff.

 

 

Cora Starr

When it comes to her Goofiness Quotient, Cora (‘Corky’) Pirbright can easily be treated at par with the likes of Roberta Wickham and Stiffy Byng. She does not boast of having red hair, but would always approve of anything that seems likely to tend to start something. Alas, we get to meet her only in The Mating Season. 

When Constable Dobbs gets bit in the leg by Sam Goldwyn, thereby obstructing him in performing his duties to the Crown, she puts the animal’s case extremely well, pointing out that it had probably been pushed around by policemen since it was a slip of a puppy and so was merely fulfilling a legitimate aspiration if it took an occasional nip at one. When Dobbs refuses to accept her view and takes the animal in his custody, all she has to do is to snap her fingers and egg on one of the men around her to go about strewing frogs all over the chokey concerned.

Her uncle Sidney may not be chuffed at the prospect of having someone like Thos around the vicarage, she believes that it is good for a clergyman to have these trials. These make him more spiritual, and consequently hotter at his job.

Though differing from Aunt Agatha in almost every possible respect, Corky has this in common with that outstanding scourge, she is authoritative. When she wants you to do a thing, you find yourself doing it.

Bertie describes her as being one of those lissom girls of medium height whose map has always been worth more than a passing glance. In repose, it has a sort of meditative expression, as if she were a pure white soul thinking beautiful thoughts, and, when animated, so dashed animated that it boosts the morale just to look at her. Her eyes are a kind of browny hazel and her hair rather along the same lines. The general effect is of an angel who eats lots of yeast.

Corky is said to have been wowing the customers with her oomph and espièglerie since she was about sixteen. She distinctly took the eye. Two years in Hollywood had left her even easier to look at than in her earlier times when she used to attend dancing classes with Bertie.

When introduced to her, Gussie Fink Nottle’s thoughts are along the following lines:

It’s extraordinary that a girl as pretty as that should also have a razor-keen intelligence and that amazing way of putting her arguments with a crystal clarity which convinces you in an instant that she is right in every respect.

Esmond Haddock, who is in love with her, thinks she is an angel in human shape. Old Pirbright introduced the two of them. Their eyes met. And it was not more than about two days after that they talked it over and agreed that they were twin souls.

But Esmond’s aunts did not like actors. In their young days, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, actors were looked on as rogues and vagabonds. As to the aunts, her stock was plainly down in the cellar and the market sluggish.

Corky refuses to consider the idea of hitching up with Esmond unless he defies his aunts, and he very naturally gets the vapours at the mere idea. She thinks he has allowed them to oppress him from childhood, and it’s time he threw off the yoke. She wants him to show her that he is a man of intrepid courage. Her matrimonial plans thus hit a snag, since there is not even a remote chance that Esmond would ever stand up to Dame Daphne Winkworth, and the Misses Charlotte, Emmeline, Harriet, and Myrtle Deverill and make them play ball.

But Bertie and Jeeves conspire to ensure that the two end up walking down the aisle.

 

Dolly Molloy

The newcomer was a girl in the middle twenties, of bold but at the moment rather sullen good looks. She had the bright hazel eyes which seldom go with a meek and contrite heart. Her colouring was vivid, and in the light from the window her hair gleamed with a sheen that was slightly metallic.

(Sam the Sudden)

This is Dora (“Dolly”) Molloy (née Gunn), a young American woman, known to her friends as Fainting Dolly, from her practice of swooning into the arms of rich-looking strangers as a prelude to picking their pockets, hence her alternative nickname of Dolly the Dip.

She is brassy, golden-haired shoplifting wife of Soapy, the brains of the couple. Unlike her husband, Dolly is a firm believer in direct action: in Money in the Bank, Jeff Miller considers her to have the executive abilities of Lady Macbeth.

 

Elizabeth Boyd

She is a hard-working beekeeper in Brookport, Long Island, where she lives with her irresponsible brother “Nutty”, Claude Nutcombe Boyd. A letter from Jerry informs them that Nutcombe’s money went to someone called Lord Dawlish.

When we get introduced to her in Uneasy Money, Elizabeth Boyd is twenty-one, though with her hair tumbling about her shoulders she could have been taken by us to be a child. It is only when we peer into her eyes and notice the resolute tilt of the chin that we realize that she is a young woman very well able to take care of herself in a difficult world. Her hair is very fair and her eyes brown and very bright. These are valiant eyes, full of spirit; eyes, also, that see the humour of things. Her chin, small like the rest of her, is strong; and in the way she holds herself there is a boyish jauntiness.

In New York, Bill sends a letter to Elizabeth offering to split the money, but she sends a reply refusing it. However, circumstances eventually bring them together and love blossoms aboard a train. They plan to get married when the train reaches New York and later run a big bee farm together.

 

Eve Halliday

In Leave it to Psmith, Eve first catches Psmith’s eye while sheltering from the rain under the awning of a coal merchant’s joint opposite the Drones. She takes up an assignment at the Blandings Castle, cataloguing the library, a feat which has not been attempted since the year 1885.

Eve gets by on a small annuity from a late uncle, but frequently has to find work due to tempting but expensive hats, gloves and other necessities. She is a person of dash and vigour. Gazing into her soul, one is apt to find such finer sentiments there as honesty, sympathy and intelligence.

She is a girl of medium height, very straight and slim; and her fair hair, her cheerful smile, and the boyish suppleness of her body all contributed to a general effect of valiant gaiety, a sort of golden sunniness – accentuated by the fact that, like all girls who looked to Paris for inspiration in their dress that season, she often wears black.

A highly attractive young girl, Eve is adept at deflecting proposals from young men like Freddie, but finds Psmith’s advances more difficult to fend off. Capable and efficient, she works hard at her cataloguing job despite Psmith’s attempts to lure her away; a faithful and reliable friend, she does much to help her friend Phyllis get the money she deserves. By the end of the narrative, she is engaged to Psmith.

 

Honoria Glossop

Most of us are already aware that Honoria Glossop is the daughter of Sir Roderick Glossop and the elder sister of Oswald Glossop. Large, brainy, and athletic, she has an assertive personality and a forceful voice. Her laughter is said to make a noise like that of the Scotch express going under a bridge.

She plays every kind of sport, and Bertie suspects she may have boxed for her university. She has a strong presence; Bertie notes that there is something about Honoria which makes almost anybody you meet in the same room seem sort of under-sized and trivial by comparison. She is interested in intellectual pursuits, and reads Nietzsche and Ruskin.

Egged on by Aunt Agatha, Bertie reluctantly agrees to get married to her. While engaged to her, Bertie ruefully describes the time spent with her as follows:

….not a day had passed without her putting in some heavy work in the direction of what Aunt Agatha had called ‘moulding’ me. I had read solid literature till my eyes bubbled; we had legged it together through miles of picture-galleries; and I had been compelled to undergo classical concerts to an extent you would hardly believe… I had just been saying to myself, ‘Death, where is thy jolly old sting?’

But when the eminent doctor pops up for a spot of lunch at his place, the presence of few cats in his bedroom ensure that he is saved from the gallows.

To Bertie, she is simply nothing more nor less than a pot of poison. One of those dashed large, brainy, strenuous, dynamic girls you see so many of these days.

Plum has left behind for us a wide spectrum of women characters. Each one is a unique specimen, even though some of them might sound like duplicates of each other.

 

(Few more women characters to follow in the next post on the subject!)

(Related Posts:

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville 2.0 (Aunts and Seniors)


Of Bertie, Goofy Females and the Wooster Clan

Bertie, Jeeves and the Internet of Things

Some Tips on the Art and Science of Courtship from Rupert Psmith

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville

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In an earlier post on the same topic, we had considered a wide range of women who dot the Plumsville landscape. Here are some who happen to play the roles of loving as well as obdurate aunts and seniors.

It is no use telling me there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.

(Bertie Wooster)

 

 

 

Aunt Agatha 

To residents of Plumsville, she needs no introduction. She is the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth. When she issues orders, one simply fulfills them, there being no court of appeal.

Generally formidable in appearance, Aunt Agatha is five-foot-nine, with a beaky nose, an eagle eye, and a lot of grey hair. The mere fact that she brings up someone like Thos, her son – a fiend in human shape – is sufficient to reveal that she has nerves of chilled steel.

When it comes to Bertie Wooster, Aunt Agatha calls the shots, making him an expert at sliding down water pipes or even going off across the Atlantic so as to escape her wrath. Towards the end of The Mating Season, one finds Bertie apparently mustering up the courage to stand up to her.

She is a matchmaker who never quite gives up on Bertie, who has been intimidated by her since he was young. However, partly thanks to Jeeves’ cunning, her plans invariably fail. In Pearls Mean Tears, the party of the other part proves to be a thief, leaving her red-faced. In Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch, the presence of cats in Bertie’s bedroom scratches his fixture with Honoria Glossop, thereby saving him from the gallows.

If it is a matter of protecting saving family, Bertie is often her favoured nephew to go to. In Extricating Young Gussie, he is sent off to New York to ensure that a cousin does not marry beneath the family’s stature.

She does not approve of family matters being placed in the hands of a menial like Jeeves. We even get to meet her pet dog McIntosh, an Aberdeen terrier, in one of the stories.

 

 

Aunt Dahlia

Dahlia Travers happens to be a large, genial soul, and Bertie often praises her humanity, sporting qualities, and general good-eggishness. Though typically friendly, she is capable, with effort, of going into an authoritative grande dame act if the situation calls for it, assuming a serious expression and cold, aristocratic tone. There are occasions when she could even resort to such methods as pinching silver cow creamers, getting cats kidnapped and hold out blackmail threats in order to achieve her goals. The threat which often proves to be the most effective is that of denying her nephew access to Anatole’s lavish spreads at Brinkley Court.

She is short and solid and has a reddish complexion. According to Bertie, her face takes on a purple tinge in moments of strong emotion. She wears tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles for reading. She has a loud, carrying voice. Riding in her youth for years with such fox-hunting packs as the Quorn and Pytchley, she tends to address Bertie as if shouting across ploughed fields in a high wind. Expressions like “Yoicks!”, “Tally ho!”, “Gone away!”, and “Hark forrard!” happen to be a part of her vocabulary. One also runs into her sleepy black cat called Augustus.

Dahlia dandled Bertie on her knee when he was very young, and once saved him from swallowing a rubber comforter. When Bertie had measles as a child, Aunt Dahlia played tiddlywinks with him for hours and let him win, though Bertie maintains that his victories were due to his own skill.

The exchange of telegrams between her and Bertie are the stuff of a legend. However, the vagaries of time have made telegrams and postal services vanish from the public’s mind, depriving us of any pleasure of that kind in the present internet-driven times. On one occasion, Bertie had contributed an article about men’s dress trousers to her publication Milady’s Boudoir.

She is devoted to her husband Tom Travers and is always keen on touching him for a spot of money to keep her publication alive and kicking. Deeply concerned about the lining of his stomach, she does not display a sense of even rudimentary morality when deciding to pinch Anatole from the household of Rosie M Banks and Bingo Little.

(Why does she deserve the honour of being repeated here, despite having been covered in the previous post? Well, when an informal survey was conducted by yours truly within two of the several groups of Plum’s fans on Facebook, she was the one who was remembered most fondly across the board, miles ahead of Bobby Wickham, another all time favourite amongst those who add a dash and a punch to the proceedings in Plumsville!)

 

 

Lady Constance

She is Lord Emsworth’s most formidable sister, a strikingly handsome woman, with a fair, broad brow, and perfectly even white teeth. She has the carriage of an empress, and her large grey eyes are misleadingly genial.

She has an interest in fine arts and frequently invites writers, poets and other artists to Blandings Castle. She expects her brother to pay better attention to family members rather than either in pottering about his extensive gardens or fussing over the Empress of Blandings. She also admonishes her brother on his poor dress sense, expecting him to wear tight collars and top hats at the height of summer while giving speeches at local events. Often, while speaking to her fluffy-minded brother, she suffers a swimming sensation in the head. She connives with the gardener to convince her brother to give up his fascination with a yew alley covered with mossy growth and have instead a gravel path constructed through it but fails.

She strongly disapproves of anyone in her distinguished family marrying inappropriately, and spends much of her time trying to keep nieces and nephews away from unsuitable matrimonial prospects. She is rather fond of Rupert Baxter, the secretary of Lord Emsworth for some time, whom she considers highly capable and on whom she calls whenever she is in dire need of practical assistance.

Towards the end of the story Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend, one finds her brother having the courage to stand up to her.

 

 

Lady Hermione Wedge

Lord Emsworth’s short and fat sister, who resembles a cook, albeit a passionate one. The wife of Colonel Egbert and mother of Veronica, Hermione has all her sisters’ fear of one of the family marrying beneath them, and is incensed when Bill Lister, unsuitable suitor of her niece Prudence, mistakes her, as so many do, for a cook, in Full Moon.

When we meet her again in Galahad at Blandings, she is for a spell acting as a chatelaine at the castle, in the absence of her sister Constance, but gives it up in the face of her brother’s impossible ways; we learn that once, as a child, she struck Galahad over the head with her doll, laying him out cold.

Breeding tells. Lady Hermione Wedge might look like a cook, but there ran in her veins the blood of a hundred earls. She overcame the sudden, quick desire to strike her nephew over his fat head with the nearest blunt instrument.

A Chunk of Baloney is how Tipton Plimsoll is apt to describe her as.

 

 

The Five Aunts

In The Mating Season, we get introduced to a bevy of aunts: Charlotte, Emmeline, Harriet, Myrtle Deverill and Dame Daphne Winkworth. They exert undue influence over Esmond Haddock, despite the fact that it is he who foots the weekly bills at Deverill Hall. They come in different sizes and shapes. One is in the habit of soliloquizing to an extent that one comes to believe that if  Shakespeare would have ever come across her, he might have just liked her.

One of the aunts happens to be deaf, one dotty, one Dame Daphne Winkworth, and all of them totally unfit for human consumption on an empty stomach…

(Bertie Wooster)

They happen to be a family rooted in old customs and ways of life and do not take a kindly view of their nephew falling under the influence of Cora Pirbright, a Hollywood diva. In any case, they take a jaundiced view of actors, considering them as rogues and vagabonds. They judge everyone by their narrow county standards.

Having won a resounding approval from his audience at a public performance, the spineless hero eventually musters enough courage to stand up to his aunts, declaring her love for Corky unabashedly. Here is a part of the final words of Esmond Haddock to his aunts:

“…I really cannot have any discussion and argument about it. I acted as I deemed best, and the subject is closed. Silence, Aunt Daphne. Less of it, Aunt Emmeline. Quiet, Aunt Charlotte. Desist, Aunt Harriet. Aunty Myrtle, put a sock in it. Really, the way you’re going on, one would scarcely suppose that I was the master of the house and the head of the family and that my word was law. I don’t know if you happen to know it, but in Turkey all this subordinate stuff, these attempts to dictate to the master of the house and the head of the family, would have led long time before this to you being strangled with bowstrings and bunged into the Bosporous.”

 

Aunts and Spiritual Growth

Whether good and straight forward or bad and manipulative, aunts and senior ladies in Plumsville perk up the proceedings no end. They display a unique sense of loyalty to their families and can often be blamed for playing spoilsport. But their feudal spirit stands out.

But is there really a point in blaming aunts for any of the challenges faced by their nephews and nieces? At a given point in time, they might look like being worse than fire-breathing dragons. But this is perhaps their way of testing our mettle and the level of passion we have for what we seek. In childhood, they might have dandled us on their knees physically. In adulthood, perhaps this is their way of making us grow into more conscious, more persevering and dashing coves.

In other words, much like the many villains in our lives, they help us to evolve spiritually; to always have a chin up attitude and face the charging dragons and ferocious hippopotami we encounter in our lives with courage, equanimity, tact and resource.

 

Related Posts:

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville

Of Bertie, Goofy Females and the Wooster Clan

Bertie, Jeeves and the Internet of Things

Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend: A Visual Version

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ashokbhatia

As you prepare yourself for a married life,

Full of love, happiness, joy and domestic bliss;

Here is an utterly butterly Plummy wish

Which you would do well not to miss.

 

Unlike Pauline Stoker, may you never ask your Bingo Little

To swim a mile before breakfast;  

And then playing five sets of tennis post-lunch,

Leaving the hapless guy shaken and aghast.

 

Like Honoria Glossop, may you never be prone to

Slapping the backs of guests with all your might;

Nudging the sterner sex to perform goofy deeds

With no consideration of their own plight.

 

May you never be like Florence Craye,

Trying to mould him into an intellectual cove;

Instead, groom him in washing dishes and changing nappies,

Shaping up a rebel lion into a docile dove.

 

Unlike Stiffy Byng, may you never prompt him

To pinch the helmet of a constable;

Landing him…

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My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer       

The ‘mother’ figure has played a very prominent and significant part in Hindi cinema. Though mostly seen in the role of a warm, loving, caring, understanding and sacrificing person which a mother is without doubt, she is sometimes portrayed as an intimidating and powerful woman and she can also become ruthless and cruel as a ‘mother-in-law’ or a stepmother. A number of actresses have brought to life these myriad shades of our on-screen Bollywood mother in their own unique way and added their special ‘X’ factor to make these characters realistic and life-like.

This blog-post is a tribute to all the on-screen mothers of Bollywood. It must be mentioned however that neither is it possible to cover all the types of mother’s roles played in a single blog-post nor will it do justice to the talent of these actresses who have immortalized the ‘mother’ character with…

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ashokbhatia

Residents of Plumsville are aware of such couples as Piggy-Maudie and Joe-Julia. To lovebirds that are young at heart and have matured over time, lining of the stomach plays an important role. At times, the prospect of an alliance between their respective children reunites them. PGW RingForJeeves

In ‘Ring for Jeeves’, we get to meet Mrs. Spottsworth and Captain Biggar. They are also young at heart but not as advanced in age as to merit consideration either to bodily afflictions or to children’s marriage prospects.

The two get introduced to each other while on a hunting spree in Kenya. Much later, they run into each other in the coffee room of the Goose and Gherkin, one of the wayside inns in England. A day later, they happen to be staying together at Rowcester Abbey, a property Mrs. Spottsworth is considering buying.

Of chance meetings which are ‘meant’

Mrs. Spottsworth exudes…

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ashokbhatia

The delicately nurtured amongst us occasionally bemoan the way they have been treated by the Master Wordsmith of our times – P GPGW JeevesInTheOffing Wodehouse. Admittedly, his narratives are replete with somewhat jaundiced references to the fairer sex. We could readily jump to the conclusion that his works have been written only for an exclusive boys’ club.

Consider these samples from ‘Jeeves in the Offing’:

Sample 1:

‘It just shows you what women are like. A frightful sex, Bertie. There ought to be a law. I hope to live to see the day when women are no longer allowed.’
‘That would rather put a stopper on keeping the human race going, wouldn’t it?’
‘Well, who wants to keep the human race going?’
‘I see what you mean. Yes, something in that, of course.’

Sample 2:

‘Why? You were crazy about the girl once.’
‘But no longer. The fever has…

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ashokbhatia

Gone are the days when Bollywood used to specialize in churning out only male-centric movies. There were times when our heroes used to be super humans with powers that even God would have hesitated to manifest. Our heroines were inevitably ‘cute’, irrational and dumb. Our families were massive piles of relatives dressed in garish clothes and living in ugly bungalows. Our idea of wooing a girl was dangerously close to molestation. Our assumptions regarding the IQ of our audiences were different. The movies catered mostly to the intelligence of an imagined front-bencher, and were inane, vulgar and obscene.

Cut to the present. The heroes are no longer diffident about shedding their macho image and reveal their softer side on the screen. The heroines have now become far more decisive and assertive. They resist amorous advances. They call the shots. They continue to be as beautiful as ever, but have become…

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As you prepare yourself for a married life,

Full of love, happiness, joy and domestic bliss;

Here is an utterly butterly Plummy wish

Which you would do well not to miss.

 

Unlike Pauline Stoker, may you never ask your Bingo Little

To swim a mile before breakfast;  

And then playing five sets of tennis post-lunch,

Leaving the hapless guy shaken and aghast.

 

Like Honoria Glossop, may you never be prone to

Slapping the backs of guests with all your might;

Nudging the sterner sex to perform goofy deeds

With no consideration of their own plight.

 

May you never be like Florence Craye,

Trying to mould him into an intellectual cove;

Instead, groom him in washing dishes and changing nappies,

Shaping up a rebel lion into a docile dove.

 

Unlike Stiffy Byng, may you never prompt him

To pinch the helmet of a constable;

Landing him in a chokey,

Missing Bartholomew’s company at the dining table.

 

May you have occasional traces of Madeline,

Capable of gazing moodily at stars in the sky;

While the Bingo Little in your life

Serves some bacon and egg fry.

  

May you be an ideal mate,

Endowed with a generous helping of grey cells;

Feeding enough fish to Jeeves who can protect you both

When life rings its sinister bells.

 

A soulmate dishing out a seven course Anatole meal

With a magic wand;

Ensuring a liberal supply of tissue restoratives,

With pick-me-ups always at hand.

 

Keeping the house clear of invading cousins,

Ex-fiancees, cats, dogs and aunts;

Life free of silver cow creamers, speeches to school kids

and Pa Bassett’s taunts.

 

Fussing over him like Angela,

A spiritual view on life you would possess;

Despite sharks and occasional tiffs,

Helping his pals in distress.

 

If ever you decide to be an auhtor like Rosie M Banks,

May he always support you in thought and deed;

Ensuring that you get your afternoon cup of tea,

Convinced that chums like Laura Pyke you do not need.

 

In matters of attire and appearance,

You would keep Jeeve’s admonitions at bay;

Deploying an empathic stiff upper lip

When his financial misdemeanours lead him astray.  

 

An occasional sojourn of his to the Drones

You would surely not mind;

Keeping the milk of human kindness sloshing about,

Love softening the harsh blows of the daily grind.

 

Warm and cosy evenings may see him

Acting like the perfect preux chevalier;

Cuddling small ones the prattle of whose feet

Would make the home livelier.

 

Much like Sally, may you always inspire him,

Keeping his entrepreneurial ambitions alive and kicking;

Or follow the example of Joan Valentine,

Be an equal when executing a fruity scheme like scarab picking.

 

 Jeeves’ feudal spirit you would skillfully utilize

To ensure domestic harmony and bliss;

Delegating to him the mundane affairs,

A professional career of your own you do not miss.

 

Much like Roberta Wickham,

May you sashay up to the altar with much aplomb;

We pray that each moment spent with you,

May never be for him like a ticking bomb.

 

 May you both be like Joe-Julia and Piggy-Maudie,

Your fondness for each other growing over time;

When concerns about the lining of the stomach rule,

May grand kids enjoy your belting out a nursery rhyme.

 

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Residents of Plumsville admire Psmith for more reasons than one. Eve Halliday is another character which deserves better attention than it normally gets.

What happens when the two run into each other? How does their romance progress?

Here is a delightful post which celebrates the gradual evolution of their relationship. Cupid, were he to come across it, would surely approve.

Plumtopia

32-23This February’s Great Wodehouse romances series continues with another guest author, K.V.K. Murthy, known to Facebook friends as James Joyce.  His piece takes us on a walk through romantic literary history with Psmith and Eve Halliday (Leave it to Psmith).

A note on the Psmith-Halliday romance

by K.V.K. Murthy

The question of favourites is mostly subjective, and Wodehouse’s vast canvas of miniature romances doubtless provides for each taste. The Gussie-Bassett, Tuppy-Angela, Bingo-Banks and others too numerous to mention are all miniatures :a concatenation (to use Jeeves’ word) of comical situation, Edwardian silly-assness and a bit of fat-headedness thrown in for seasoning. They are the staple of drawing-room one-act plays of a certain generation, given occasional revivals in schools to round off the Annual Day shindig. Barring minor changes in detail, they are all more or less cast from the same block. Wodehouse’s success with that block – or formula –…

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