November 19, 2004

Plum On The Money

Some time back, I tried to relay an anecdote I half-remembered about the origins of P.G. Wodehouse's great character Rupert Psmith. At the time, I could not recollect where I had read it.

Well, it turns out that my informant was none other than the Old Boy himself. This morning I started in again on Something Fresh (known across the pond as Something New), the first of the Blandings Castle novels, by way of a break from the Bertie and Jeeves cycle I'm currently revisiting. And damme if that anecdote didn't jump right out of Plum's preface to my Penguin paperback edition:

People are always asking me...well, someone did the other day...if I draw my characters from living originals. I don't. I never have, except in the case of Psmith. He was based more or less faithfully on Rupert D'Oyle Carte, the son of the Savoy Theatre man. He was at school with a cousin of mine, and my cousin happened to tell me about his monocle, his immaculate clothes, and his habit, when asked by a master how he was, of replying, "Sir, I grow thinnah and thinnah." I instantly recognized that I had been handed a piece of cake and I bunged him down on paper (circ. 1908).

So there you have it. I love it when a quote comes together.

Posted by Robert at November 19, 2004 08:40 AM | TrackBack

Ah, Blandings Castle! The venerable haven of peace...Not!

Not with the Earl, Lady Constance, Beech, the Hon. Galahad and more imposters than you can shake a stick at.

Plus the the overwhelming presence of the Empress of Blandings.

Blandings Castle, what would the world be without you but greyer and duller.

Posted by: Mikey at November 19, 2004 03:56 PM
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