Best 1923 Adventures (3)
March 12, 2018
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1923 adventure novels. Happy 95th anniversary!
P.G. Wodehouse’s comic adventure Leave It to Psmith.
In the fourth and final Psmith story, the monocle-sporting, adventure-seeking titular character has fallen on hard times; he has just quit a job working in the fish business. His school chum Mike Jackson, married to Phyllis (who incurred the wrath of her mother, Lady Constance, by eloping with Mike), is also barely scraping by as a school teacher. So when Freddie, son of the Earl of Emsworth (who is Lady Constance’s brother), suggests they steal Lady Constance’s necklace in order to free up some cash for Phyllis, Psmith tricks the Earl of Emsworth — who believes that Psmith is another of the freeloading poets his sister is always inviting to stay — into bringing him to Blandings Castle. There, he woos Phyllis’s charming friend Eve, who resists his advances… because she believes that he’s another friend’s husband (the poet). Soon enough, a real pair of criminals shows up to steal the necklace, and it’s up to Psmith to save the day!
Fun facts: Psmith first appears in Mike (1909; in 1953, confusingly, the second part of this book was republished as Mike and Psmith), then in Psmith in the City (1910) and Psmith, Journalist (1915). This story was first serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in 1923.
JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.