The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G Wodehouse (1923)
PG Wodehouse is, without a doubt, England’s preeminent genius of gentle comedy. There is not an author of any period in history whose writing better embodies his or her particular time and space. In Wodehouse’s case, bumbling Bertie Wooster and his bacon-saving butler Jeeves have become synonymous with that shrinking gene pool of upper-class Edwardian England, where wars were won on cream tea and croquet and lunch could last a lifetime.
It wasn’t just that his comedy was clever, but that it was so painstakingly precise in its lampoonery of the era. But it was the author and social satirist Evelyn Waugh who said it best, during a BBC broadcast in 1961: ‘Mr. Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.’