There is truly nothing wrong with living in a castle – “Damsel in Distress” by P.G. Wodehouse

September 14, 2012 at 11:38 pm 4 comments

Cover of "A Damsel in Distress"

Cover of A Damsel in Distress

Damsel in Distress” by P.G. Wodehouse, Published in 1919

If you have not read any Wodehouse you really should – especially if, like me, you love satirical British novels set in the 20s and 30s.  Wodehouse takes his jabs at the British aristocracy, which is fun for the reader but of course the reader also wouldn’t mind being a member of that same aristocracy.  I particularly enjoy the “Jeeves and Wooster” series. “Damsel in Distress” was also good but I would not read it at the beginning of your reading relationship with Wodehouse.  It is not Wodehouse at his best – but seriously a less than stellar Wodehouse novel is still amazing.

George Bevans, a great American composer, is in London for the opening of his new play.  While riding in a taxi, a young woman jumps in and asks him to hide her.  George immediately falls in love with her and saves her from a portly gentleman who is chasing her.  After the taxi escapes her pursuer and drops her off at her destination, George finds out that his damsel in distress is Maude Marsh of Belpher Castle. Maude resides in the castle with her father  daughter,Lord Marshmoreton, her brother, Percy (Lord Belpher), her aunt, Lady Caroline, and her cousin, Reggie.

George decides that he must be close to Maude and rents a cottage down the country road from Belpher Castle hoping to woe her. Of course this is Wodehouse so this becomes a comedy of errors and a story of the rich being, well, ridiculous.  Unfortunately for George, Maude loves a Welsh gentleman who she is forbidden by her family to see.  Lady Caroline wants Reggie to marry Maude but Reggie is in love with Lord Marshmoreton’s secretary.  The secretary wants Lord Marshmoreton to complete his book about the history of his family but he wants to just grow his roses.  Lord Marshmoreton pretends to be the gardener to get out of the castle and George pretends to be a server to get into the castle. Lady Caroline is continually exasperated and Percy is continually obnoxious.  Mix in a bet among the service staff regarding who will marry who and it all becomes bedlam.

There is underlying commentary in Wodehouse’s writing but taken at face value this book is a great British romp.  So if you enjoy romping and Brits then go for it…that sounds scandalous, doesn’t it?

Other thoughts on Wodehouse:

Entry filed under: September 2012 reads. Tags: , , , , .

Well, there is always Belgium beer to pull us through – “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” by Agatha Christie Where crazy meets brilliance: “Leaving Van Gogh: A Novel” by Carol Wallace

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. honoriaplum  |  September 15, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Oohh, Thanks for the mention. Would you be happy if I reblog your excellent piece?

    I will have to re-read A Damsel in Distress now as well. There was also a film based loosely on this book, starring Fred Astaire. It’s not too bad.

    • 2. Emily C  |  September 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      I was happy to find other blogs about Wodehouse. I will have to check out the movie. Thanks!

  • 3. The Other Watson  |  September 15, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Ahhh I have this one on my shelf, but am yet to read it. I’ll get around to it one day, geeze he wrote a lot of books hahaha.

    • 4. Emily C  |  September 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      He did write a lot, hopefully you like this one. Happy reading!


Please let me know what you think! I like hearing from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


Or enter you email address here to get email updates.

Join 725 other subscribers

What I’m reading now –

%d bloggers like this: