Sir Agravaine Wodehouse Bibliography

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE (; 1881–1975) was an English author, humorist and scriptwriter. After being educated at Dulwich College, to which he remained devoted all his life, he was employed by a bank, but disliked the work and wrote magazine pieces in his spare time. In 1902 he published his first novel, The Pothunters, set at the fictional public school of St. Austin's; his early stories continued the school theme. He also used the school setting in his short story collections, which started in 1903 with the publication of Tales of St. Austin's.

Throughout his novel- and story-writing career Wodehouse created several regular comic characters with whom the public became familiar. These include Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves; the immaculate and loquacious Psmith; Lord Emsworth and the Blandings Castle set; the disaster-prone opportunist Ukridge; the Oldest Member, with stories about golf; and Mr Mulliner, with tales on numerous subject from film studios to the Church of England.

Wodehouse also wrote scripts and screenplays and, in August 1911, his script A Gentleman of Leisure was produced on the Broadway stage. In the 1920s and 1930s he collaborated with Jerome Kern and Guy Bolton in an arrangement that "helped transform the American musical" of the time; in the Grove Dictionary of American Music Larry Stempel writes, "By presenting naturalistic stories and characters and attempting to integrate the songs and lyrics into the action of the libretto, these works brought a new level of intimacy, cohesion, and sophistication to American musical comedy."[4] His writing for plays also turned into scriptwriting, starting with the 1915 film A Gentleman of Leisure. He joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in 1930 for a year, and then worked for RKO Pictures in 1937.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, and while living in northern France, Wodehouse was captured by the Germans and was interned for over a year. After his release he was tricked into making five comic and apolitical broadcasts on German radio to the still neutral US. After vehement protests in Britain, Wodehouse never returned to his home country again, despite being cleared by an MI5 investigation. He moved to the US permanently in 1947 and took American citizenship in 1955. He continued writing until his death in 1975.[6]

Novels[edit]

Initially in chronological order by UK publication date, even when the book was published first in the US or serialised in a magazine in advance of publication in book form.

Short story collections[edit]

In chronological order by UK publication date, even when the book was published first in the US or serialised in a magazine in advance of publication in book form.

Plays[edit]

Wodehouse in 1930, aged 48
Cover of Wodehouse's first published novel, 1902
Psmith, drawn by T.M.R. Whitwell for first edition of Mike, 1909
Cover of sheet music of "The Lilt of a Gypsy Strain" from The Riviera Girl, 1917
Wodehouse in 1904, aged 23

P. G. Wodehouse: The Man Upstairs and Other Stories

17. SIR AGRAVAINE: A TALE OF KING ARTHUR'S ROUND TABLE (continued)

Handicapped in this manner, it is no wonder that he should feel sad and lonely in King Arthur's court. At heart he ached for romance; but romance passed him by. The ladies of the court ignored his existence, while, as for those wandering damsels who came periodically to Camelot to complain of the behaviour of dragons, giants, and the like, and to ask permission of the king to take a knight back with them to fight their cause (just as, nowadays, one goes out and calls a policeman), he simply had no chance. The choice always fell on Lancelot or some other popular favourite.

* * * * *

The tournament was followed by a feast. In those brave days almost everything was followed by a feast. The scene was gay and animated. Fair ladies, brave knights, churls, varlets, squires, scurvy knaves, men-at-arms, malapert rogues--all were merry. All save Agravaine. He sat silent and moody. To the jests of Dagonet he turned a deaf ear. And when his neighbour, Sir Kay, arguing with Sir Percivale on current form, appealed to him to back up his statement that Sir Gawain, though a workman-like middle-weight, lacked the punch, he did not answer, though the subject was one on which he held strong views. He sat on, brooding.

As he sat there, a man-at-arms entered the hall.

'Your majesty,' he cried, 'a damsel in distress waits without.'

There was a murmur of excitement and interest.

'Show her in,' said the king, beaming.

The man-at-arms retired. Around the table the knights were struggling into an upright position in their seats and twirling their moustaches. Agravaine alone made no movement. He had been through this sort of thing so often. What were distressed damsels to him? His whole demeanour said, as plainly as if he had spoken the words, 'What's the use?'

The crowd at the door parted, and through the opening came a figure at the sight of whom the expectant faces of the knights turned pale with consternation. For the new-comer was quite the plainest girl those stately halls had ever seen. Possibly the only plain girl they had ever seen, for no instance is recorded in our authorities of the existence at that period of any such.

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