Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Additions to the Collector’s Wodehouse

Still longing for new episodes of Downton Abbey? As the Chicago Tribune suggests, give Wodehouse a try. There’s no time like the present, as today brings the two latest additions to our Collector’s Wodehouse series, The Adventures of Sally and Mike at Wrykyn. Still not convinced? Just ask British comedic actor, Stephen Fry. 

When finished, the Collector’s Wodehouse will be the first complete hardback series of Wodehouse’s work by any one publisher. In every case, our editors have gone back to the first editions of each book and corrected errors that crept into the numerous paperback volumes. Each book has been re-typeset using the classic English typeface Caslon and printed on Scottish cream-woven, acid free paper, sewn and bound in full cloth, and illustrated by Polish artist Andrzej Klimowski.

The Adventures of Sally is a transatlantic comedy set in worlds Wodehouse knew well: American theaters and English theatrical boardinghouses where young men and women dream of finding fame and fortune. Coming into a modest inheritance, one of these young women, Sally, is able to leave her boardinghouse at last, and looks forward to a quiet life in a small apartment. Instead she finds herself swept up in a series of adventures with her ambitious brother and her playwright fiancé, along with an accident-prone, dog-loving Englishman she meets on a French beach and his supercilious cousin, who pursue her across the Atlantic. 

In Mike a Wrykyn, the charming story of the Jackson cricketing dynasty at boarding school, Wodehouse evokes the peaceful prosperous world of middle-class England before the Great War, a place where rich men hire private cricket professionals to coach their sons at home, and little seems to matter at school except the publishing of team lists and the taking of tea. But such is the novelist’s skill that he can make excitement from the small-scale dramas of teenage life, and interest even the most unsporting reader in the cricket matches he describes so lovingly. A curiosity for those who know only Wodehouse of Blandings and Piccadilly, but a delightful one.

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