Ben Schott

Bestselling author Ben Schott has revived Jeeves and Wooster for a new novel starring literature’s most beloved master and servant. In sparkling, comic prose worthy of P.G. Wodehouse, Schott sends Jeeves and Wooster off on a new (mis)adventure as spies for the English Crown. But how does a contemporary author enter into a well-loved series? Schott explains—in a way.


‘I say, old bean, do you think this is wise?’

‘Wise?’

‘Prudent, sensible—sane even?’

‘You mean, to dog the patent-leather footsteps of P.G. Wodehouse? The greatest craftsman of comic fiction the English language has known? The genius who created Jeeves and Wooster? The man who spun unforgettable prose, and wove a thread of Englishness on which the sun will never set?’

‘Yup. That’s the chap. And I ask again: Is this wise?’

‘Possibly not.’

‘I’d call it loopy.’

‘You may have a point.’

‘Dashed presumptuous, too. What in heaven inspired you?’

‘Adoration. Admiration. Awe. Many of the words beginning with ‘A.’ And it occurred to me that the universe, being in such a darkly parlous state, might enjoy a tad more Bertie to gladden the heart and lighten the soul.’

‘And so you wrote a new Jeeves and Wooster novel?’

‘I did indeed. It is called Jeeves and the King of Clubs—and it is fully authorized by the Wodehouse Estate.’

‘They must be mad!’

‘The premise is that Jeeves’ club of butlers and valets, the Junior Ganymede, is actually a branch of the British Secret Service. It remains a genuine social club for those in the upper echelons of service, of course, but it is also a conduit of unique intelligence to His Majesty’s Government.’

‘You mean to say, there’s a gang of butlers roaming the halls, sniffing out secrets like the Baker Street Irregulars?’

‘They prefer to think of themselves as the Curzon Street Perfectionists. And for reasons explained in the book, Bertie is inveigled into joining the Junior Ganymede to help thwart the fascist upstart Roderick Spode.’

‘That fat-headed oaf!’

‘Quite. Bertie, naturally, takes to spying like a d. to water, and we are led on an uproarious adventure of espionage through the secret corridors of Whitehall, the sunlit lawns of Brinkley Court and the private Clubland of St James’.’

‘Does Aunt Dahlia appear? I adore Aunt Dahlia.’

‘She does indeed, along with a cast of characters old and new: outraged chefs and exasperated uncles, disreputable politicians and gambling bankers, slushy debs and Cockney cabbies, sphinxlike tailors and sylphlike spies.’

‘Is there action? A spy caper rather demands action, y’know.’

‘Fear not, old crumpet—there’s Action-a-Plenty. In addition to foiling treasonous fascists there are horses to be backed, auctions to be fixed, engagements to be escaped, madmen to be blackballed and a new variety of condiment to be cooked up.’

‘I say, it sounds quite the thing!’

‘Far be it for me to tootle my own trombone, but if Jeeves and the King of Clubs is one hundredth as much fun to read as it was to write, well . . . ’

‘I shall send my man out for a copy immediately.’

‘I say, you are a brick!’

 

Author photo by Harry MacAuslan

‘I say, old bean, do you think this is wise?’

‘Wise?’

‘Prudent, sensible—sane even?’

‘You mean, to dog the patent-leather footsteps of P.G. Wodehouse? The greatest craftsman of comic fiction the English language has known? The genius who created Jeeves and Wooster? The man who spun unforgettable prose, and wove a thread of Englishness on which the sun will never set?’

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