Saturday, August 28, 2021

Another Classic...

 I needed a 20th Century Classic (a book written between 1900-1971) for this year's Back to the Classics Challenge, and I didn't want to read anything super long or depressing. So I decided to go with P.G. Wodehouse's A Damsel in Distress, which was written in 1919. Because who can't use a little more Wodehouse in their lives?


A Damsel in Distress is a delightful novel of comedic mishaps, chance encounters, and English manners. The characters lie at the heart of it. There's Lord Marshmoreton, the widowed seventh Earl of Marshmoreton, who prefers his roses to anything else, and Lady Caroline, his overbearing sister who rules the roost at Belpher Castle. She wants her stepson, Reggie Byng, to marry Lord Marshmoreton's daughter, Maud. But Reggie is in love with the Earl's secretary, Alice Faraday.
"Reggie's was a troubled spirit these days. He was in love, and he had developed a bad slice with his mid-iron. He was practically a soul in torment."
 Maud, too, is in love with someone else:  an American she met last summer. Her family, especially her insufferable older brother, Percy, is against the match, but she's a girl with pluck. She heads to London hoping to meet up with the man she loves and lands in a cab with George Bevan instead. George is a successful American composer who's feeling a bit gloomy these days...until pretty Maud Marshmoreton tumbles into his cab.
"This girl's tempestuous irruption into his life had supplied flame for George. Her bright eyes, looking into his, had touched off the spiritual trinitrotoluol which he had been storing up for so long. Up in the air in a million pieces had gone the prudence and self-restraint of a lifetime. And here he was, as desperately in love as any troubadour of the Middle Ages."
The course of love never runs smoothly in a Wodehouse novel,  but it is always filled with funny situations. And George's courting of Maud is no exception. 
"...the fairway of love was dotted with more bunkers than any golf course he had ever played on in his life."
Luckily, everything works out in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel: the quirky characters, their machinations and misunderstandings, Wodehouse's droll wit, and, of course, the happy ending. It's a fun one, from the servants downstairs to the Earl himself. But then, Wodehouse always makes me smile.

Happy Reading!


 P.S. You can check out my other Wodehouse post here.



49 comments:

  1. Oh, lovely. I've read and am currently reading a few Jeeves and Wooster stories and absolutely love them. So this is another one of his series I can tackle. Thanks for that, Lark.

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    1. Jeeves and Wooster are the best! I need to read more of those myself. :)

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  2. I thought the Jeeves and Wooster book I read was fantastic, so I'm glad to see you have tried some non-J&W Wodehouse and found it equally delightful.

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    1. I don't think he gets enough credit for his standalone books, but the two I've read have been delightfully funny.

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  3. That top cover! Both, but especially the first one. I need to give A Damsel in Distress a try!

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    1. Isn't that top cover fun? It highlights one of the most humorous moments of the book, too. :D

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  4. What an awesome cover! I've never read this one.

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    1. It was a new read for me, but ended up being a really fun one. If you like Wodehouse, I recommend this one.

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  5. "Plum"(his nickname) was and is a panacea for an ailing age... i've read him a lot, but not this one, i think altho it's hard to remember... hilarious author!

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  6. I've never read anything by Wodehouse. Maybe I need to!

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    1. He's fun. More comedy of manners and dialogue than heavy action. And Jeeves is hilarious! :)

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  7. It's been so long since I saw a review for a Wodehouse book! I don't think I've read this entry, so thanks for giving me a remedy for my downer days. And if you're looking for a new Wodehouse book, I'd really recommend Quick Service which is hilarious.

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    1. I'll make a note and put that as my next Wodehouse book. Thanks! :)

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  8. What a great cover! This sounds like a really fun read. I love quirky characters. :)

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    1. And all of the characters in this book have their fun little quirks. :D

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  9. Wodehouse is always a great choice. How I loved the "Jeeves and Wooster" BBC series based on his Jeeves stories.

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    1. I haven't watched that series, but everyone seems to really like it! :)

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  10. I had a thing for reading heaps of Wodehouse years and years ago. Hilariously funny. Onscreen I thought Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie were the perfect Jeeves and Wooster, I could watch that series over and over.

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    1. I haven't watched any of the TV series, but I am really liking the books. Although, I've only read a few. Other books keep getting in the way. ;D

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  11. I've gotten so used to thinking about Wodehouse in connection with Bertie and Jeeves that I didn't know he had written other books too. I haven't read him in awhile and I'm due.

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    1. This is a fun one, and I also really loved The Adventures of Sally. If you're going to try one of his non Jeeves & Bertie books, I recommend those. :)

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  12. I have not read any Wodehouse at all. My husband has not either, but he recently ordered Something Fresh, which is a Blanding novel. And we have A Damsel in Distress on the Kindle. So maybe I will give him a try soon.

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    1. If you're ever in the mood for a droll comedy of manners, Wodehouse is your man! :)

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  13. This looks fun, especially all the romantic misadventures. :)

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    1. The whole thing with George and Maud totally made me laugh.

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  14. I only read my first Wodehouse this year an became an instant fan! You are really doing well with the challenge this year. Congratulations! :D

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    1. I think this is the best I've ever done on the classics challenge; I might even finish all 12 categories this time around. It's a bookish miracle! ;D

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  15. I'm all for avoiding depressing books. A lot of the classics are, right? This sounds like a fun romp, though! :)

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    1. I have to be in the right mood for a book that's serious and sad. And right now I need more escapist fiction. :)

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  16. Sounds like fun. I can't remember the last time I've read Wodehouse.

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    1. I just started reading his books a few years ago, so I haven't read very many of them. Yet. :)

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  17. I've not read this one but I loved his Jeeves and Wooster stories. So much fun!

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    1. I haven't read most of Wodehouse's books, but I've really enjoyed the ones that I have read. :)

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  18. I haven't read any Wodehouse yet but my 16 yr old daughter loves his books. She often says, 'Listen to this, Mum...' and quotes him.
    She keeps telling me I should read his books.

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    1. I agree with your daughter, but I also think you have to be in the right mood for one of his books. :D

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  19. I love Wodehouse and definitely need to read this one :) So glad you posted about it and enjoyed it! Thanks, Lark!

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    1. Wodehouse is a lot of fun. Happy reading, Nadia!

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  20. I've not heard of this author; and I think that first cover was awesome!

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    1. Wodehouse is very British and very funny. You should try him someday.

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  21. I haven't read this one (I've only read Jeeves Wodehouse.) Sounds like it's great and I also think that's the coolest cover!

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    1. Isn't that a fun cover? It totally fits the story! :D

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  22. Wodehouse is one of my favorite authors, I have lots of his books, including collections like one on his golf stories and The Drones Club, etc. I haven't read the one you review, it sounds great.

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    1. I thought it was fun. It made me laugh. :)

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  23. This sounds fun! I haven't read this author before.

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    1. I've only read a few of his books, but they're lighthearted reads that always make me laugh. :)

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