Nothing Serious

By P.G. Wodehouse

It’s getting harder and harder to add a new book to my Wodehouse collection — I must have about seventy of his novels and story collections by now. Still, sometimes one gets lucky, and happen upon a new one. Nothing Serious, in this case, and even if most of the stories are golf stories (not my favourite), there’s a Lord Emsworth in it that’s a genuine gem.

  • Author: P.G. Wodehouse
  • Publisher: Herbert Jenkins
  • Published: No date, but first edition, so 1950
  • Place: London & Glasgow
  • Pages: 254

This volume contains the following stories:
The Shadow Passes, Bramley is So Bracing, Up from the Depths, Feet of Clay, Excelsior, Rodney has a Relapse, Tangled Hearts, Birth of a Salesman, How’s that Umpire and Success Story.

Birth of a Salesman is the Lord Emsworth story. The earl is visiting his son Freddy in the United States when a girl rings the front door bell, and he opens it, Freddy being out for business. The girl tries to sell Lord Emsworth a richly bound encyclopedia of Sport, but fails. The reason she’s out toting books nobody in his right mind would want to touch with a twenty-feet bargepole is that she’s pregnant, and needs to inject some extra cash into the household, her husband being a lowly-paid car mechanic.

The chivalrous Lord Emsworth offers her his second son’s sofa, and sets out to sell the beastly books for her. And, against all reason or expectations, succeeds.

The other stories are all about various golf clubs and devoted golfers, and are very nice, especially Feet of Clay, where Rodney Spelvin and Agnes Flack are reunited after having been sundered by a lounge lizard and a sex authoress.

Anyway, it’s always hard to come to any kind of conclusion about a collection of stories, and even harder to say something sensible about a Wodehouse. If only to keep up my appreciation of English, I read a Wodehouse a month… And they’re all good clean fun, too.