Incredibly knowledgeable about topics ranging from horse racing to history, Jeeves has an encyclopedic knowledge of literature and academic subjects. He frequently quotes from Shakespeare and the romantic poets. Well informed about members of the British aristocracy thanks to the club book of the Junior Ganymede Club , he also seems to have a considerable number of useful connections among various servants. Jeeves uses his knowledge and connections to solve problems inconspicuously.
Jeeves does not try to argue this claim, though at least once he says he does not eat a lot of fish,  and in one conversation, Bertie states that he favours kippers , while Jeeves prefers ham. One of Jeeves's greatest skills is making a special drink of his own invention, a strong beverage which momentarily stuns one's senses but is very effective in curing hangovers.
Bertie first hires Jeeves after his hangover is cured by one of Jeeves's special drinks. Jeeves has knowledge in more dubious subjects as well.
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He is well-informed about how to steal paintings and kidnap dogs. He finds it necessary to get Aunt Dahlia to knock out Bertie with a gong stick in " Jeeves Makes an Omelette ", though he agrees with Bertie not to use this sort of tactic again. Jeeves often reads intellectual, "improving" books, including the works of Spinoza , Shakespeare , and " Dostoevsky and the great Russians". Banks ,  and regularly reads The Times , which Bertie occasionally borrows to try the crossword puzzle. Bingo says that he saw Jeeves "swinging a dashed efficient shoe".
One of Jeeves's hobbies is fishing, which he tends to do during his annual summer holiday.
Mini-reviews of the Jeeves novels of P. G. Wodehouse
Bertie sees him fishing in Joy in the Morning. Jeeves claims that travel is educational, though Bertie suspects that Jeeves has a Viking strain and "yearns for the tang of the salt breezes". The premise of the Jeeves stories is that the brilliant valet is firmly in control of his rich and unworldly young employer's life. Jeeves becomes Bertie Wooster's guardian and all-purpose problem solver, devising subtle plans to help Bertie and his friends with various problems.
In particular, Jeeves extricates Bertie Wooster from engagements to formidable women whom Bertie reluctantly becomes engaged to, Bertie being unwilling to hurt a woman's feelings by turning her down. Bertie is usually unaware of the extent of Jeeves's machinations until all is revealed at the end of the story. On one occasion, Bertie acknowledges and accepts his role as a pawn in Jeeves's grand plan, though Jeeves objects, saying that he could have accomplished nothing without Bertie's cooperation.
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For the most part, Bertie and Jeeves are on good terms. Being fond of Bertie, Jeeves considers their connection "pleasant in every respect". When Bertie must stay by himself in a hotel in " The Aunt and the Sluggard ", he struggles without having Jeeves there to press his clothes and bring him tea, saying "I don't know when I've felt so rotten. Somehow I found myself moving about the room softly, as if there had been a death in the family"; he later cheers himself up by going round the cabarets, though "the frightful loss of Jeeves made any thought of pleasure more or less a mockery".
Wooster has always been gratifyingly appreciative of my humble efforts on his behalf". Jeeves has firm ideas about how an English gentleman should dress and behave, and sees it as his duty to ensure that his employer presents himself appropriately. When friction arises between Jeeves and Bertie, it is usually over some new item about which Bertie Wooster is enthusiastic that does not meet with Jeeves's approval, such as bright purple socks, a white mess jacket, or a garish vase.
Bertie becomes attached to these less conservative pieces and views Jeeves's opposition to them as "hidebound and reactionary". The conflict is resolved by the end of the story, typically after Jeeves has helped Bertie with his latest problem. Bertie, grateful, agrees to have it Jeeves's way. He does not object if he learns that Jeeves, foreseeing that Bertie would agree to give up the item, has already disposed of it. Bertie considers Jeeves to be a marvel, and wonders why Jeeves is content to work for him, stating, "It beats me sometimes why a man with his genius is satisfied to hang around pressing my clothes and what not".
In an early story, he says that Bertie is "an exceedingly pleasant and amiable young gentleman, but not intelligent. By no means intelligent. Mentally he is negligible — quite negligible. Nonetheless, Jeeves's view of Bertie's intelligence has apparently softened by the first novel, when Jeeves says that Bertie "is, perhaps, mentally somewhat negligible, but he has a heart of gold".
In the twenty-first century, a " Jeeves " is a generic term for any useful and reliable person, found in dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary  or the Encarta World English Dictionary. The Jeeves canon is a series of comedic stories following Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves, consisting of 35 short stories and 11 novels. With minor exceptions, the short stories were written and published first between and ; the novels later between and While the series of stories featuring the character of Jeeves are often referred to as the "Jeeves" stories, the series is also called by other names such as the "Jeeves and Wooster" or "Jeeves and Bertie" stories.
Bertie Wooster narrates in the first person all the stories but two, " Bertie Changes His Mind " which Jeeves himself narrates in the first person , and Ring for Jeeves which features Jeeves but not Bertie Wooster and is written in the third person. In the story, Jeeves's character is minor and not fully developed, and Bertie's surname appears to be Mannering-Phipps. The first fully recognisable Jeeves and Wooster story was "Leave It to Jeeves", published in early As the series progressed, Jeeves assumed the role of Bertie Wooster's co-protagonist.
Most of the Jeeves stories were originally published as magazine pieces before being collected into books, although 11 of the short stories were reworked and divided into 18 chapters to make an episodic semi-novel called The Inimitable Jeeves. Other collections, most notably The World of Jeeves , restore these to their original form of 11 distinct stories. The collection The World of Jeeves first published in , reprinted in contains all of the Jeeves short stories with the exception of "Extricating Young Gussie" presented more or less in narrative chronological order, but with some variations from the originals.
An efficient method of reading the entire Jeeves canon is to read The World of Jeeves , followed by the eleven novels in order of publication. The novels generally mention characters and events that happened in previous stories. While Carry On, Jeeves features some earlier stories, it also includes stories that occur after events in The Inimitable Jeeves.
The Jeeves Collection: "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves", "Inimitable Jeeves", "Carry on, Jeeves"
The short stories are set primarily in London, where Bertie Wooster has a flat and is a member of the raucous Drones Club , or in New York City , though some short stories are set around various stately homes in the English countryside. The novels all take place at or near an English country house, most commonly Brinkley Court in four novels and Totleigh Towers in two novels.
The Jeeves stories are described as occurring within a few years of each other. For instance, it is stated in Jeeves in the Offing that Aunt Dahlia ran her paper for four years, and not three, as is shown in Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit. Nonetheless, some scholars have attempted to create a rough timeline.
Morris suggested that the Jeeves canon spanned approximately five years, stating that four Christmases are accounted for, and another must have passed during Bertie's time in America in the early stories, making five in all. The stories follow a floating timeline , with each story being set at the time it was written, while the characters do not change and past events are referred to as happening recently. This results in the stories following "two kinds of time", as the characters hardly age but are seen against the background of a changing world.
For example, in Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit , when Bertie is surprised to hear that his Aunt Dahlia wants to sell her weekly paper, he remarks, "It was like hearing that Rodgers had decided to sell Hammerstein. However, certain Edwardian era elements, such as aristocratic country houses and traditional gentlemen's clubs like the Drones Club, continue to be prevalent throughout the series, despite becoming less common in the real world.
The setting is generally an idealised version of the world, with international conflicts being downplayed or ignored. Illness and injuries cause negligible harm, similar to downplayed injuries in stage comedy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Jeeves disambiguation. Jeeves on the cover of My Man Jeeves Retrieved 15 September October Madame Eulalie. Retrieved 21 January What a treasure Jevons was! Existence without Jevons would be unthinkable.
Wodehouse and Murray Hedgcock] traces the origin of the name Jeeves to Percy Jeeves, a Warwickshire professional cricketer known for his impeccable grooming, smart shirts and spotlessly clean flannels. Wodehouse probably saw him take a couple of smooth, effortless catches in a match between Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.
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The name, the immaculate appearance and silent efficiency stuck and the inimitable manservant appeared first in , just weeks after the original Percy Jeeves died in the war in France. The Hindu Literary Review. It had never occurred to me before that he had a first name" Bertie about Bingley greeting Jeeves.
However, Wodehouse had nothing to do with the script of that film, and Treacher's Jeeves character is so unlike Wodehouse's Jeeves that the viewer could easily believe him to be a different Jeeves altogether. Aunt Dahlia implies that Jeeves is "maturer" than Bertie. However, multiple Wodehouse reference books say that Jeeves first appeared in , possibly because that is when he first appeared in both the US and the UK. Bertie says regarding Jeeves, "He and the young master may have had differences about Alpine hats with pink feathers in them, but when he sees the y.
So now, instead of being cold and distant and aloof, as a lesser man would have been, he showed the utmost agitation and concern. That is to say, he allowed one eyebrow to rise perhaps an eighth of an inch, which is as far as he ever goes in the way of expressing emotion. Bertie describes Jeeves: "He is magnetic. There is about him something that seems to soothe and hypnotize.
To the best of my knowledge, he has never encountered a charging rhinoceros, but should this contingency occur, I have no doubt that the animal, meeting his eye, would check itself in mid-stride, roll over and lie purring with its legs in the air. Jeeves says that studying "the psychology of the individual" is essential to solving problems, and that this means studying "the natures and dispositions of the principals in the matter".
I mean, if the tiger in you isn't sleeping but on the contrary up and doing with a heart for any fate, they lull you in. You come in like a lion, you take your snootful, and you got out like a lamb. Impossible to explain it, of course. One can merely state the facts. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters , p. Wodehouse wrote: "Jeeves's bracer does not contain dynamite as is generally supposed. It consists of lime juice, a lump of sugar, and one teaspoonful of Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo. This, it will be remembered, is the amount of the Buck-U-Uppo given to elephants in India to enable them to face tigers on tiger hunts with the necessary nonchalance.
Jeeves tells Bertie how to steal a painting with treacle and brown paper, and says that this is "the recognized method in vogue in the burgling industry". Jeeves tells Bertie how to lure a dog using aniseed, and says that it is extensively used in the dog-stealing industry. Bertie says, "'You want me to recommend you a good book?
Well, of course, it depends on what you like. Jeeves, for instance, is never happier than when curled up with his Spinoza or his Shakespeare.
Jeeves explains his actions: "'As I am no longer in your employment, sir, I can speak freely without appearing to take a liberty. In my opinion you and Lady Florence were quite unsuitably matched You would not have been happy, sir! Upset that Bertie appears to be contemplating marriage, Jeeves states that, in his experience, "when the wife comes in at the front door the valet of bachelor days goes out at the back". This is a reference to a poem by Alexander Pope. Retrieved 15 August The frequency with which the term 'Jeeves' is used without further explanation in the media of today, and its inclusion as a generic term in the Oxford English Dictionary, suggests that P G Wodehouse's Jeeves, together with his principal employer Bertie Wooster, remain the most popular of his many enduring characters.
Archived from the original on 28 March Jeeves [ jeevz ], noun — Definition: resourceful helper: a useful and reliable person who provides ready solutions to problems informal [Midth century. Retrieved 8 March British Film Institute. Retrieved 5 December Retrieved 13 February HAT Ads. History of Advertising Trust. Wodehouse ". Retrieved 20 March The Code of the Woosters Purloining an antique cow creamer under the instruction of the indomitable Aunt Dahlia is the least of Bertie's tasks, especially when forced to play Cupid while feuding with the delusional fascist Roderick Spode.
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