Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lord Peter and Bertie Wooster

I stumbled across an article today that quite unnerved me. It posits:

"To wit: Would Lord Peter Wimsey have been chummy with Bertie Wooster? Or as Mrs Maine put it, would, "Lord Peter Wimsey -- who was apt to launch into Woosterian dialogue to disarm his suspects...have considered Bertie an insufferable ass [or would he] have actually liked him"?..........
My first clue came when I was reading Murder Must Advertise. Early in the book, two of the typists at the advertising agency where Wimsey has gone undercover as a copy writer are discussing the new man and one of them describes him as looking exactly like Bertie Wooster!And I solved it midway through the book when the same two typists bump into Wimsey out of disguise on the street.How, I asked myself, wishing I had a Bunter or a Jeeves to shimmer in with an evening refresher so I could bounce my idea off of him, How did Wimsey know that he could pass himself off as his own lookalike cousin to people who knew him as one or the other?The answer came to me in a flash of insight.He knew he could do it because he had been doing it all along.Lord Peter is Bertie!Wimsey is Wooster and Wooster is Wimsey!"

I say, could it be true? It always seemed unlikely to me that there would be two butlers of Bunter and Jeeves's caliber in the world. Also, it would explain why Bertie avoids the altar like the plague. I could see Lord Peter reveling in such a role.

Footnote: The article is here: http://lancemannion.typepad.com/lance_mannion/2004/10/the_codes_of_th.html,


healthily sanguine said...

How alarming! Although . . . I really ought . . . to read . . . something by Dorothy Sayers. I think I only ever read one thing.


lover of beauty said...

Oh Sylvia,

Thou art blasphemous! :) Get thee to a Sayers novel, and read it, quickly, forsooth!