Uneasy Money

Uneasy Money is a Wodehouse novel that I find myself returning to time and again. It is an early novel, written 1917, and therefore available from Project Gutenberg, and isn’t part of any of the sagas Wodehouse is famous for.

  • Author: P.G. Wodehouse
  • Title: Uneasy Money
  • Pages: 190
  • Published: 1978 (1917)
  • Publisher: Penguin

Instead, we have the very sympathetic Bill Chalmers, Lord Dawlish, who is the impecunous secretary of a London club but who secretly wants  nothing better than to become an apiarist. His is affianced to a rather demanding — even mercenary — woman, and the book starts with him waiting for her for a lunch date and getting soaked for a bob; the eleventh that morning.

Uneasy Money has less of the exuberance of language that characterizes Wodehouse’s later novels, especially the Jeeves saga. But that is not to say that this is not very polished. There is maybe a lack of balance in the plot itself; some sections are too silly for words, like the Dudley Pickering scenes, others are plain touching, And, well, it is a book from 1917 and its age is starting to show a bit; nowdays introducing characters with a page or so of detailed description is no longer done (probably because books, in competition with television, have dropped the descriptive narrative in favour of the psychological investiation or something like that), and some of Elizabeth’s qualms are quaint, if nice.

Anyway, a book I read and reread if only for the pleasure of Bill’s and Elizabeth’s company; the fun of reading about lady Polly Weatherby and her zoo are a nice bonus.