Character of the month: Bertie Wooster

The lazy and amiable narrator of P G Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster series, Bertie is a character I can’t help liking. Being of the upper class, he leads an idle existence and enjoys his life as a bachelor. Yet he’s not a snob. His endearing naivety contrasts with the intelligence and wit of his valet, Jeeves.

Bertie Wooster has a very distinctive narrative voice, full of old-fashioned slang and abbreviations. He also exaggerates a lot. His spluttering politeness and inability to hurt anyone can get him into trouble. And he does get into trouble, in every story of course, whether through misunderstandings, offended relatives, items stolen from country houses, women who decide they’re going to marry him, or friends getting into scrapes. He has a great sense of humour too.

The character of Bertie was famously played by Hugh Laurie in the TV series (1990-3). I think it’s a decent portrayal of Bertie but the books are funnier.

 

8 thoughts on “Character of the month: Bertie Wooster”

  1. Like you, I enjoyed Hugh Laurie’s turn as Bertie Wooster – and casting Stephen Fry as Jeeves was a stroke of genius. I’ve never actually read the books, though, so I’ll be looking for them at the library.

    1. Oh yes, the books are certainly worth a read! To be honest all the ones I’ve read seem quite similar, so it doesn’t matter which one you start with.

    1. There are quite a lot in the series, but the good thing is, you can start with pretty much any of the books, as they’re all similar 😀

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