A Blandings Omnibus
In this wonderfully fat omnibus, which seems to span the dimensions of the Empress of Blandings herself (the fattest pig in Shropshire and surely all England), the whole world of Blandings Castle is spread out for our delectation: the engagingly dotty Lord Emsworth and his enterprising brother Galahad, his terrifying sister Lady Constance, Beach the butler (his voice 'like tawny port made audible'), James Wellbeloved, the gifted but not always sober pigman, and Lord Emsworth's secretary the Efficient Baxter, with gleaming spectacles, whose attempts to bring order to the Castle always end in disarray.
Lurking in the wings is Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe of Matchingham Hall, the neighbour with designs on the Prize which must surely belong to the Empress.
As Evelyn Waugh wrote, 'The gardens of Blandings Castle are that original garden from which we are all exiled.'
This omnibus contains Something Fresh, Summer Lightning and three short stories.
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (always known as 'Plum') wrote about seventy novels and some three hundred short stories over seventy-three years. He is widely recognised as the greatest 20th-century writer of humour in the English language.
Perhaps best known for the escapades of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Wodehouse also created the world of Blandings Castle, home to Lord Emsworth and his cherished pig, the Empress of Blandings. His stories include gems concerning the irrepressible and disreputable Ukridge; Psmith, the elegant socialist; the ever-so-slightly-unscrupulous Fifth Earl of Ickenham, better known as Uncle Fred; and those related by Mr Mulliner, the charming raconteur of The Angler's Rest, and the Oldest Member at the Golf Club.
In 1936 he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for 'having made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the happiness of the world'. He was made a Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1939 and in 1975, aged ninety-three, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died shortly afterwards, on St Valentine's Day.