Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lunchtime read: Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best

The Wodehouse style grows on you and before you know it you are quite happy in a world where all that matters are if the flowers have been picked, if pigs eat their food and pumpkins win first prize.

But there is also something clever going on here in that having established a pattern where you expect the story to develop in a certain way he changes it. So in this story you expect the final confrontation between head-gardener and Lord Emsworth to conclude with the latter giving in over the gravel path the gardener wants. If he did that it would follow the pattern set of establishing twin problems that are solved at the same time. That fact he doesn’t follow that path means you are left wondering where Wodehouse will go next.

Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend
With the annual August bank holiday fete about to take place Blandings Castle is about to be invaded by villagers and some children from London. On his way to the village to judge the best garden competition Lord Emsworth comes across a young girl who has upset his gardener by stealing flowers and then her brother upsets Emsworth’s sister by biting her on the ankle. Finding that the girl has been told off at the fete for taking food for her brother Lord Emsworth takes her into the castle feeds her up and then lets her pick some flowers. The gardener runs out to be confronted by a self assured Emsworth, with the girl behind him, who put his foot down and reasserts his position as lord and master.

More tomorrow…

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