Images of Wooster et al,

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Images of Wooster et al,

1abbottthomas
Jul 5, 2009, 7:25 am

Those of us who came to PGW via the old Herbert Jenkins editions will all have our own mental pictures of Bertie, Jeeves and the rest.

A check on Wikipedia suggests that the only film featuring Bertie was Thank you, Jeeves, with Arthur Treacher as Jeeves and David Niven as Bertie. I will pass hastily over a video of the By Jeeves musical with Martin Jarvis, of all people, in the title role.

Jeeves and Wooster have done better out of TV with the 1960s series starring Denis Price and Ian Carmichael and, more recently, with Stephen Fry and Hugh Lawrie. The latter was a good series but I the older pair fitted my preconceived ideas better.

On my shelves I have illustrated editions by Paul Cox (Folio) - I generally like his work but his images are not the ones in my head. The new Everyman edition has attractive covers by Andrzej Klimowski but those that I have seen aren't much help in putting faces to the main characters. I have one or two later Jenkins editions with rather lurid (and unattributed) dust jackets. Finally there is the Penguin printing of the 1970s with covers by Ionicus. I think these are much more satisfactory and worth collecting for the covers alone.

What do people think? Any other recommendations? Fry or Price? Lawrie or Carmichael?

2thorold
Jul 5, 2009, 2:56 pm

Chacun à son goût, I suppose...

The trouble with Bertie is that he's simultaneously a middle-aged bachelor and an impish schoolboy - if you draw a picture of him, or show him on the screen, you pin him down to one or the other. It's probably safer just to draw Jeeves.

I'm quite fond of the illustrations by Paul Galdone in the American edition of Joy in the morning. He does quite well at bringing out Bertie's child-like quality. A lot of other representations just make him look rather an upper-class oaf, especially in the Ionicus covers (more like a lawyer than a stealer of cow-creamers) - the more stylised covers by David Hitch on more recent Penguins seem to me to work a bit better, leaving more to the imagination. I think the Klimowski covers ended up rather ugly, and very depressing. His cover for The code of the Woosters would be perfect for Crime and Punishment or something...

3roomsofbooks
Jul 14, 2018, 1:44 pm

I read recently, tho can't recall where, that Wodehouse was shown some episodes of Carmichael/Price and was very enthusiastic about Price as Jeeves but thought C was too old.

Sadly, the Laurie/Fry, we'll never know.

4Maura49
Nov 27, 2022, 4:27 am

>3 roomsofbooks: He was probably right about that as I believe that Bertie is around 25 years old in the books and Ian Carmichael must have been 40ish by the time of this 1960's series.