An unexpected invite throws the Christmas plans of Bertie Wooster and his long- suffering valet, Jeeves, into disarray. Rather than the Winter sun of Monte Carlo, Jeeves and Wooster find themselves spending Christmas at Skeldings Hall, much to the disappointment of Jeeves, home of Lady Wickham, and her daughter Bobbie, thr object of Bertie’s desire. Also in attendance is Sir Roderick Glossop, father of Bertie’s former fiancé, Honoria, and Tuppy Glossop, he who tricked Bertie into falling into the swimming pool at the Drones Club.
First published in 1927, and previously published in The World of Jeeves, Jeeves and the Yule-tide Spirit is the perfect festive treat.
Jeeves deserve all the praise. This was so much fun!
When I first read Jeeves stories, I was surprised to discover they are in Bertie Wooster’s point of view. I’ve always read them to be ‘Jeeves stories’, so I was a bit taken aback when I discovered that Jeeves is actually Bertie’s valet and plays a small part, though I’d argue that he is the propeller of the story.
Besides, both personalities shine and the relationship between the two characters is what makes the story so enjoyable.
Bertie Wooster – who tells the story in the first person – is particularly fantastic. He is such a dear. He might seem superficial and volatile, what with his pampered life and privileged position, and certainly he’s a bit naive, but he has a good heart. Jeeves is the perfect counterpart. Sombre and down-to-earth, almost cunny.
The relationship between the two is brilliant. Jeeves gets his way with his employer, playing him around, and Bertie knows what’s happening and accepts it quite graciously.
Nick Martin, the narrator, was absolutely spectacular. His reading is full of wit and fun, crisp and upbeat, just like the story. It adds a visuality to it. I loved the way he characterised the two characters with his voice. He managed to express their essence through their voices, and I think that added humour to the narration.
Jeeves and the Yuletide Spirits
The letter arrived on the morning of the sixteenth. I was pushing a bit of breakfast into the Wooster face at the moment and, feeling fairly well-fortified with coffee and kippers, I decided to break the news to Jeeves without delay. As Shakespeare says, if you’re going to do a thing you might just as well pop right at it and get it over. The man would be disappointed, of course, and possibly even chagrined: but dash it all, a splash of disappointment here and there does a fellow good. Makes him realize that life is stern and life is earnest.
‘Oh, Jeeves,’ I said.
‘We have here a communication from Lady Wickham. She has written inviting me to Skeldings for the festive. So you will se about bunging the necessaries together. We repair thither on the twenty-third. Plenty of white ties, Jeeves, also a few hearty country suits for use in the daytime. We shall be there some little time, I expect.’
There was a pause. I could feel he was directing a frosty gaze at me, but I dug into the marmalade and refused to meet it.
‘I thought I understood you say, sir, that you proposed to visit Monte Carlo immediately after Christmas.’
‘I know. But that’s all off. Plans changed.’
‘Very good, sir.’
At this point the telephone bell rang, tiding over very nicely what had threatened to be an awkward moment. Jeeves unhooked the receiver.
‘Yes?… Yes, madam… Very good, madam. Here is Mr Wooster.’ He handed me the instrument. ‘Mrs Spenser Gregson, sir.’
You know, every now and then I can’t help feeling that Jeeves is losing his grip. In his prime it would have been with him the work of a moment to have told Aunt Agatha that I was not at home. I gave him one of those reproaching glances, and took the machine.
The Thursday Quotables was originally a weekly post created by Lisa Wolf for her book blog Bookshelf Fantasy. It isn’t a weekly post anymore, not even for Lisa, but just like her, I still love to share my favourite reads on Thursday and I still use the original template which included an excerpt.