A P.G. Wodehouse novel
Lady Maud, the spirited young daughter of the Earl of Marshmoreton, is confined to her home, Belpher Castle in Hampshire, under aunt's orders because of an unfortunate infatuation. Enter our hero, George Bevan, an American who writes songs for musicals and is so smitten with Maud that he descends on Hampshire's rolling acres to see off his rival and claim her heart. Meanwhile, in the great Wodehousian tradition, the Earl of Marshmoreton just wants a quiet life pottering in his garden, supported by his portly butler Keggs and free from the demands of his bossy sister and his silly-ass son.
It is a sunny story which involves misunderstandings, butlers and gentle hearts torn asunder only to be reunited at last. This delightful novel which was twice filmed (once as a musical starring Fred Astaire) has all the wit and lightness of touch that we expect from the great comic writer.
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (always known as `Plum') wrote more than ninety novels and some three hundred short stories over 73 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 93, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died shortly afterwards, on St Valentine's Day.