October 20, 2004

Now THis Is A Plum!

If you're in any way a Wodehouse fan, go and read this fascinating article about his early friendship and later bitter falling out with A.A. Milne of Winnie-the-Pooh fame. This is all quite new to me, even though I've read a biography or two of Wodehouse, or else I've simply forgotten about it. Certainly until I read the article, I had no idea that the use of Christopher Robin in The Mating Season was meant to be a dig at Milne. Heh, indeed, Old Companion.

The article compares the temperments and fortunes of the two. Another difference between them comes to mind. If I recall correctly, Milne was a line officer in WWI - he's mentioned by Robert Graves in Goodbye to All That. As demonstrated by Graves himself and Siegfreid Sassoon, trench service seems to have had a terrible long-term effect on some of Britain's writers. I'm sure it must have influenced Milne's personality as well, hardening him in his seriousness. To the best of my knowledge, Wodehouse never served.

One thing, tho'. I am somewhat dubious of the article's claim, in its last line, that Wodehouse only used the word "death" eight times in his 98 novels. "Death, where is thy jolly old sting?" or some variation on it is one of Plum's stock lines. I'd have said the number was much higher.

Yips! to Enoch Soames, Esq.

Posted by Robert at October 20, 2004 01:33 PM | TrackBack
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