24/08/2022 General News
Dozens of first editions by hugely popular comic author P.G.Wodehouse are to go under the hammer in Norfolk next week – including several from the Jeeves & Wooster series of books made famous to a modern generation through the television series starring Hugh Laurie and Norfolk’s own Stephen Fry.
Over 70 volumes by the famous wit form part of a two day Book sale at Aylsham-based auctioneers Keys on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September.
Included in the sale is an extremely rare first edition of the lesser-known ‘William Tell Told Again’ dating from 1904 when Wodehouse was just 23; and a galley proof, complete with hand-written corrections, of his very last Jeeves and Wooster novel, ‘Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, published in October 1974, just three months before he died.
The collection of Wodehouse works is one of the most comprehensive to come up for auction in the UK in recent years, and is already attracting significant interest from fans and collectors all around the world.
“Although they are set in something of a lost world, Wodehouse’s wit remains fresh and relevant today, and that is one of the reasons that his books remain incredibly popular and collectable,” said Andrew Lindsay-Bullock, head of books at Keys.
“Once he became established, his first editions were produced in larger numbers, which makes them relatively affordable for Wodehouse fans. For example, we have a pre-sale estimate of £30-£50 on a 1930 first edition of ‘Very Good, Jeeves’ – which means that lovers of the Bertie Wooster stories can own a piece of history for a relatively affordable sum.”
The Keys two day Book Sale takes place on Thursday 1st September and Friday 2nd September at the firm’s Aylsham salerooms, and online at bid.keysauctions.co.uk. A full catalogue of the sale will be published shortly at www.keysauctions.co.uk.
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was born in 1881, and was a prolific writer, completing more than 90 books, 40 plays and hundreds of short stories.
His most famous creation was the hopeless young aristocrat Bertie Wooster, who was frequently saved from himself by his wily valet Jeeves. This series ran from the first novel ‘Extricating Young Gussie’ in 1915, to his last work, ‘Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen’, published in October 1974, just three months before he died.
Other memorable characters created by Wodehouse include Psmith, based on the impresario Rupert D’Oyly-Carte; and Lord Emsworth and his prize sow The Empress of Blandings.
The Jeeves and Wooster novels have frequently been adapted for film and television, most successfully in the series ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ staring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, which ran from 1990 to 1993.
Wodehouse spent the last three decades of his life living in the US, where he died in February 1975.