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Encyclopedia > Bertie Wooster
Bertie Wooster portrayed by Hugh Laurie in ITV's Jeeves and Wooster series
Bertie Wooster portrayed by Hugh Laurie in ITV's Jeeves and Wooster series

Bertram Wilberforce "Bertie" Wooster is the wealthy, good-natured co-protagonist and narrator of P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves stories. A minor British aristocrat and member of the "idle rich", he always appears alongside his highly intelligent "gentleman's personal gentleman", Jeeves, whose genius manages to extricate Bertie or one of his friends from numerous awkward or difficult situations. Hugh Laurie as P. G. Wodehouses Bertie Wooster This work is copyrighted. ... Hugh Laurie as P. G. Wodehouses Bertie Wooster This work is copyrighted. ... The protagonist or main character is the central figure of a story. ... The Narrator is the entity within a story that tells the story to the reader. ... P. G. Wodehouse, pictured in 1904, became famous for his complex plots, ingenious wordplay, and prolific output Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse KBE (October 15, 1881 – February 14, 1975) (pronounced WOOD-house) was an English comic writer who enjoyed enormous popular success for more than seventy years. ... Jeeves, here portrayed by Stephen Fry in ITVs Jeeves and Wooster series, is P.G. Wodehouses most famous character. ...

Contents

Family

Bertie is an orphan, but has at least three aunts and three uncles from the Wooster family, though Wodehouse alludes to his father's having had many siblings. Only two of his aunts — Aunt Dahlia and Aunt Agatha, sisters of his late father — play major roles in the stories. Dahlia Travers is a fictional character in the novels of P.G. Wodehouse. ... Agatha Gregson, later Lady Worplesdon, is a fictional character created by P. G. Wodehouse. ...


Bertie has at least six uncles, three of whom he has acquired by marriage: Tom Travers, Aunt Dahlia's husband; Spenser Gregson, Aunt Agatha's first husband; Percy Craye, Earl of Worplesdon, her second; Henry Wooster, a "looney", whom the family find a considerable embarrassment; George, Lord Yaxley, who has a fondness for waitresses; and Willoughby Wooster. Henry's twin sons, Claude and Eustace (Bertie's cousins), play significant roles in several stories, as do Aunt Dahlia's children, Angela and Bonzo Travers, and Aunt Agatha's young son, Thomas Gregson. In the Jeeves and Wooster stories of P.G. Wodehouse, Tom Travers is the husband of Aunt Dahlia and uncle of Bertie Wooster. ... In the stories and novels of P. G. Wodehouse, Spenser Gregson is Bertie Woosters Aunt Agathas first husband. ... Percival Percy Craye, Earl of Worplesdon is a fictional character who appears in P.G. Wodehouses Jeeves novels and stories. ... Henry Wooster is a character in the Jeeves stories, written by PG Wodehouse. ... George Wooster, the Rt. ... In the stories of P. G. Wodehouse, Willoughby Wooster, known to the reader as Uncle Willoughby, is Bertie Woosters fathers brother. ... Bertie Wooster has twin cousins. ... Angela Travers is the daughter of Bertie Woosters Aunt Dahlia and her husband Tom Travers in P. G. Wodehouses Jeeves stories. ... Bonzo Travers is the son of Bertie Woosters Aunt Dahlia and her husband Tom Travers in P. G. Wodehouses Jeeves stories. ... Thomas George Gregson (Born; 1798, Died; 1874) was the second Premier of Tasmania from 26 February 1857 until 25 April 1857. ...


At first, Bertie depends on his Uncle Willoughby for financial support, but upon his uncle's death, Bertie apparently inherits a vast fortune. Nevertheless, he is perpetually afraid of his Aunt Agatha, who considers him a spineless invertebrate and a burden on society; his Aunt Dahlia, on the contrary, likes him very much, often inviting him to stay at her country estate, Brinkley Court. Bertie's Aunt Dahlia often uses the threat of banning Bertie from Brinkley Court and the offerings of her peerless chef, Anatole, to bend him to her will. For instance, in the novel The Code of the Woosters, Bertie is obliged to steal a cow creamer for his Aunt Dahlia, who wants it for her husband (Uncle Tom), for his collection. The cow creamer rightfully belongs to Uncle Tom, but by use of trickery, was purchased by Sir Watkyn Bassett (a rival collector and the magistrate who fined Bertie five pounds for stealing a Policeman's helmet one Boat Race Night. Bertie asks Madeline Bassett for an invitation and goes through a harrowing experience at Totleigh Towers, but is ultimately crowned with success. Brinkley Court is a fictional locale in the stories and novels of P. G. Wodehouse; the seat of Tom and Dahlia Travers, it is said to be modeled on the Lechmere house at Severn End, Hanley Castle, in Worcestershire. ... The Code of the Woosters is a book from the Jeeves and Wooster series by P. G. Wodehouse. ... In the stories and novels of P. G. Wodehouse, Sir Watkyn Bassett is a magistrate in the Bosher Street courthouse in London, the father of Madeline Bassett, and Bertie Woosters potential father-in-law on several occasions. ... Boat Race Logo The Boat Race is a rowing race between the rowing clubs of the University of Oxford (Oxford University Boat Club) and the University of Cambridge (Cambridge University Boat Club). ... Madeline Bassett (later Lady Sidcup for about four days), is a character in P. G. Wodehouses Jeeves series of books. ... In P. G. Wodehouses Jeeves stories, Totleigh Towers is the seat of Sir Watkyn and Lady Bassett, as well as their daughter Madeline Bassett. ...


Bertie also has a cousin named Gussie, mentioned in the first Jeeves story, Extricating Young Gussie, in which his and his cousin's last name is Mannering-Phipps. Wodehouse apparently changed his mind afterward, and renamed the family, though Bertie does make occasional mention of his Aunt Julia, the antagonist of that first story. The "Young Gussie" of the title, who becomes entangled with a chorus girl and goes on stage, is not to be confused with the much more prominent character of Augustus "Gussie" Fink-Nottle, the eminent newt-fancier and former schoolmate of Bertie's who falls in love with first Madeline Bassett and, late in the saga, Pauline Stoker's younger sister, Emerald. Extricating Young Gussie is a short story by P. G. Wodehouse. ... Augustus Gussie Fink-Nottle is a fictional character who appears in several of P. G. Wodehouses novels. ...


Education

Bertie has been given a first-rate British establishment education, having been schooled at Eton and Oxford University (Magdalen College). However, the little he may have learned has mostly escaped him by the time he narrates the Jeeves tales. Standard characters and passages of English literature are typically recalled with scant more detail than "Tum-tum, tum-tum, tum-tumty-tum, I slew him, tum-tum tum!". Bertie typically fails to recognise Shakespeare when it is quoted to him by Jeeves. The most that he seems to have retained from his Oxford days is a skill in stealing policemen's helmets. The Establishment is a pejorative slang term to refer to the traditional and usually conservative ruling class elite and the structures of society which they control. ... The Kings College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor, commonly known as Eton College or just Eton, is an internationally renowned public school (privately funded and independent) for male students, founded in 1440 by Henry VI. It is located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor in England, situated north... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford, England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... College name Magdalen College Collegium Beatae Mariae Magdalenae Named after Mary Magdalene Established 1458 Sister College Magdalene College President Professor David Clary FRS JCR President Iain Anstess Undergraduates 395 MCR President Kader Allouni Graduates 230 Homepage Boatclub Magdalen College (pronounced ) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of... Shakespeare redirects here. ...


His earlier school days were just as fraught with misunderstanding and misfortune as his later ones. About all that has stuck with him are attachments to former classmates such as Bingo Little and Tuppy Glossop, who cause Bertie more trouble than comfort. Although Bertie claims to have memorised a list of the Kings of Judah in order to win a Scripture prize as a youngster, Gussie Fink-Nottle insists that Bertie cheated. Richard Bingo Little appears in a number of books by the renowned comic author, P. G. Wodehouse. ... Hildebrand Tuppy Glossop is a fictional character appearing in some of P. G. Wodehouse Jeeves books. ... Kingdom of Judah (Hebrew מַלְכוּת יְהוּדָה, Standard Hebrew Malḫut Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Malḵûṯ Yəhûḏāh) in the times of the Hebrew Bible, was the nation formed from the territories of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin after the Kingdom of Israel was divided, and was named after Judah...


Bertie has clearly read quite a bit of the Bible, as his stories contain frequent Biblical allusions, many of which are uttered by Bertie himself. As with the rest of his education, Bertie frequently uses only partial quotes, and the situations for which he uses them are completely incongruous with the original meaning. For instance, in one story, Bertie is trying desperately to avoid Honoria Glossop's female cousin, who appears to be quite interested in him. Bertie complains that "Old Sticketh Closer than a Brother" won't leave him alone. The verse that Bertie is almost quoting (Proverbs 18:24) is actually talking about the value and rareness of close friends. Bertie uses the partial quote as a pejorative to complain about someone who is not a friend and is actually annoying him.


Romance

Bertie never marries, but does become engaged in nearly every story and novel. In the early years he is rather given to sudden and short-lived infatuations, under the influence of which he proposes to Florence Craye (in Jeeves Takes Charge, the second story in terms of publication and the first in the internal timeline of the books), Pauline Stoker, and Bobbie Wickham. In all of these cases, he rethinks the charms of the holy state and a "lovely profile" upon a closer understanding of the personalities of the girls in question. However, having already received a proposal from him, each assumes in her own way that she has an open invitation to marry Bertie whenever she has a spat with her current fiancé. Madeline Bassett and Honoria Glossop are similarly deluded, though in their cases Bertie was attempting to plead the case of a friend (Gussie Fink-Nottle and Bingo Little respectively) but was misinterpreted as confessing his own love. In all of these cases, Bertie feels himself honour-bound to agree to the marriage out of fear of being ungallant and hurting the girl's feelings. He often cites his determination to act as a preux chevalier, and observes that "one is either preux or one isn't". In the later stories and novels, Bertie regards engagement solely as a dire situation from which Jeeves must extricate him. Lady Florence Craye is a fictional character who appears in P. G. Wodehouses Jeeves stories and novels. ... Jeeves Takes Charge is a short story written by P. G. Wodehouse. ... Roberta Bobbie Wickham is a rather troublesome female who pops up every now and then in PG Wodehouses Jeeves stories. ... Honoria Glossop is a particularly formidable female from the Jeeves stories by P. G. Wodehouse. ...


Aunt Agatha is of the opinion that Bertie, whom she believes to be a burden to society in his present state, must marry and carry on the Wooster name; furthermore, he must marry a girl capable of moulding his personality and compensating for his many defects. (Interestingly, though, in the short story Jeeves Takes Charge, Lady Florence Craye tells Bertie that his Aunt Agatha "called you a spineless invertebrate and advised me strongly not to marry you". Aunt Agatha later marries Florence's father Lord Worplesdon, and Florence begins to call Agatha "mother", to Bertie's bemusement, so evidently the two terrifyingly imperious females feel some sort of spiritual kinship.) This prospect mortifies Bertie, not least because it would mean he and Jeeves would have to part ways.


Jeeves

When Bertie caught his valet Meadowes stealing his silk socks, he sacked him and sent for another from the agency. Jeeves, arriving in Jeeves Takes Charge, mixes Bertie a hangover cure of his own invention and is hired almost immediately. According to the latter book, Bertie is twenty-four when he hires Jeeves. Thereafter, Bertie cedes much of the control of his life to Jeeves, clashing occasionally on matters of dress. When Jeeves expresses disapproval of a particular article of Bertie's clothing, be it a brightly-colored cummerbund, a check suit, purple socks, various hats or even a moustache, it is certain that it will be disposed of by the end of the story, sometimes after a period of coolness between him and Jeeves. A cummerbund is a broad waist sash, usually pleated, which is often worn with black tie. ... Suits from the 1937 Chicago Woolen Mills catalog At the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 heads of state wore morning dress or lounge suits for more informal meetings but frock coats for formal daytime meetings A suit, with varieties such as a business suit, three-piece suit... SOCKS is an Internet protocol that allows client-server applications to transparently use the services of a network firewall. ... There are many different styles of hats. ... This article has been illustrated as part of WikiProject Illustrated Wikipedia. ...


Among Bertie's many reasons for not wanting to marry are his dislike of children and that all of his fiancées seem to have an aversion to Jeeves, insisting that Bertie sack him after their wedding. More importantly Jeeves is disagreeable to the prospect of his master's matrimonial alliance, as any prospective wife would likely dethrone him as the "true master" of the Wooster household. Because of this, he manages to steer Bertie out of every close relationship, sometimes against Bertie's will. Aunt Agatha also disapproves strongly of Jeeves's influence on Bertie, seeing his position as Bertie's "keeper" as further proof of self-insufficiency and unwillingness to take responsibility. Bertie's Aunt Dahlia, on the other hand, is extremely impressed by Jeeves's intelligence and is often party to his clever schemes.


Language

With a single exception, all the Bertie Wooster stories are told in the first person by Bertie himself. This allows Wodehouse a comedic paradox: although Bertie himself is, as Jeeves puts it, "mentally negligible", his descriptive style employs a considerable facility with English. Arguably, it is the idiosyncratic nature of Bertie's narrative descriptions that makes the tales difficult to adequately translate to a visual medium, such as film.


Bertie displays a fondness for pre-war slang, peppering his speech with words and phrases such as "What ho!", "pipped", "bally", and so on. He also commonly abbreviates words and phrases, such as "eggs and b." As the years pass, popular references from film and literature would also feature in his narratives.


Miscellaneous

Bertie belongs to the Drones Club, where many of his adventures begin. He is also acquainted with Lord Emsworth, another of Wodehouse's best-known characters, and mentions having visited Blandings Castle. The fictional Drones Club, located in Dover Street, London, (where a real club, the Arts Club, is based) was created by English comic novelist P. G. Wodehouse. ... Clarence Threepwood, 9th Earl of Emsworth, Viscount Bosham is a fictional character created by British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse. ... In the stories and novels of P. G. Wodehouse, Blandings Castle is the seat of Clarence Threepwood, 9th Earl of Emsworth as well as the name given to the series of books which take place at the castle and its immediate environs. ...


Bertie gives his address as 3A Berkeley Mansions, Berkeley Square, LONDON. W1. The fantastic art deco mansion block that appears in the first three series of the DVD's however is not located in Berkeley Square in real life. Does anyone know where they shot this?


Bertie is depicted in the television series as being a very capable pianist and singer. He often plays and sings show tunes and musical numbers of the 1930s, including the songs "Nagasaki", "Puttin' on the Ritz", "Minnie the Moocher", and "You Do Something To Me". Hugh Laurie, who played Bertie in the series, actually played the piano and sang the songs on the set and no recordings or dubbings were used. Hugh Laurie (left) and Stephen Fry portray Bertie Wooster and his valet, Jeeves Jeeves and Wooster was a television series adapted by Clive Exton from P.G. Wodehouses Jeeves stories, and produced by Granada Television for the UKs ITV network from 1990 to 1993. ... Pianist Claudio Arrau, Carnegie Hall, 1954. ... A Showtune is a song designed and written to exemplify the extreme homosexuality of those who truly love them: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Homosexuals Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, The Sound of Music Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewes Brigadoon, Paint Your... The Fantasticks was the longest-running musical in history. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Puttin on the Ritz is a popular song written and published in 1929 by Irving Berlin. ... Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, from the opening credits of Max Fleischers Minnie the Moocher, which included a recording of the titular Calloway song. ... You Do Something to Me is noteable in that it was the first number in Cole Porters first fully integrated book-musical, Fifty MIllion Frenchmen. ... James Hugh Calum Laurie, widely known as Hugh Laurie, (born 11 June 1959) is an English actor, comedian and writer. ...


In the fictional biography "Jeeves: A Gentleman's Personal Gentleman" by Northcote Parkinson Bertie comes into the title of Lord Yaxley upon the death of his uncle George Wooster, marries Bobbie Wickham and makes Jeeves the landlord of the "Angler's Rest" pub, which is on the Yaxley estate. Jeeves then supplants Mr. Mulliner as the resident expert and storyteller of the pub. Cyril Northcote Parkinson (July 30, 1909 - March 9, 1993), born in Durham, England was a historian and author of some sixty books. ... George Wooster, the Rt. ... Roberta Bobbie Wickham is a rather troublesome female who pops up every now and then in PG Wodehouses Jeeves stories. ... Jeeves, here portrayed by Stephen Fry in ITVs Jeeves and Wooster series, is P.G. Wodehouses most famous character. ... Mr Mulliner is a fictional character from the short stories of P. G. Wodehouse, who is widely regarded as one of the great comic writers of the 20th century, once described as English literatures performing flea. ...


Controversy

Bertie's foppish foolishness was not popular with everyone. Papers released by the Public Record Office have disclosed that when Wodehouse was recommended for a Companion of Honour in 1967, Sir Patrick Dean, British ambassador in Washington, argued that it "would also give currency to a Bertie Wooster image of the British character, which we are doing our best to eradicate." The Kew building. ... The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order (decoration). ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ...


TV actors

Hugh Laurie (left) and Stephen Fry portray Bertie Wooster and his valet, Jeeves
Hugh Laurie (left) and Stephen Fry portray Bertie Wooster and his valet, Jeeves

Hugh Laurie portrayed Bertie in the early-1990s ITV series Jeeves and Wooster opposite his long-time comedy partner, Stephen Fry, as Jeeves. Hugh Laurie (left) and Stephen Fry as P. G. Wodehouses Bertie Wooster and his omniscient valet Jeeves. ... Hugh Laurie (left) and Stephen Fry as P. G. Wodehouses Bertie Wooster and his omniscient valet Jeeves. ... James Hugh Calum Laurie, widely known as Hugh Laurie, (born 11 June 1959) is an English actor, comedian and writer. ... Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is an English comedian, author, actor and filmmaker. ... James Hugh Calum Laurie, widely known as Hugh Laurie, (born 11 June 1959) is an English actor, comedian and writer. ... Germans dancing on the Berlin Wall in late 1989, the symbol of the cold war divide falls down as the world unites in the 1990s. ... ITV (Independent Television) is the name popularly given to the original network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up under the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to provide competition to the BBC. In England, Wales and southern Scotland, the network has been rebranded to ITV1 by ITV plc, the owners of... Hugh Laurie (left) and Stephen Fry portray Bertie Wooster and his valet, Jeeves Jeeves and Wooster was a television series adapted by Clive Exton from P.G. Wodehouses Jeeves stories, and produced by Granada Television for the UKs ITV network from 1990 to 1993. ... Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is an English comedian, author, actor and filmmaker. ...


In the earlier BBC World of Wooster (19651967), Ian Carmichael played the part of Bertie opposite Dennis Price as Jeeves. The British Broadcasting Corporation, invariably known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, employing 26,000 staff in the UK alone and with a budget of £4 billion. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter Wimsey Ian Carmichael OBE (born 18 June 1920) is a British film, stage and television actor. ... Dennistoun Franklyn John Rose-Price (June 23, 1915 – October 6, 1973) was a British actor. ...


Radio actors

Richard Briers portrayed Bertie in BBC Radio 4 series What Ho, Jeeves! opposite Michael Hordern as Jeeves. The series ran occasionally from 1973 to 1981. Richard Briers, CBE (born on January 14, 1934) is a popular English actor whose career encompasses the theatre, television, film and radio. ... BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station which broadcasts a wide variety of chiefly spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history. ... Sir Michael Hordern (October 3, 1911-May 2, 1995) was a British actor, knighted in 1983 for his services to the theatre. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Marcus Brigstocke played Bertie in a Radio 4 adaptation of The Code of the Woosters in 2006, with Andrew Sachs as Jeeves. Marcus Brigstocke (born May 1973) is a British comedian and satirist who has worked extensively in stand-up comedy, television and radio. ... Andrew Sachs (born Andreas Siegfried Sachs, April 7, 1930) is a British actor. ...


See also

The following is an incomplete list of fictional characters who appear in the novels and short stories of P. G. Wodehouse. ... Jeeves (1975) a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn, based on the novels of P.G. Wodehouse. ... By Jeeves is a musical based loosely on the stories of PG Wodehouse, by Andrew Lloyd-Webber (music) and Alan Ayckbourn (lyrics and story). ...

External links

  • BBC's World of Wooster (BBC comedy guide)
  • ITV's Jeeves and Wooster (BBC comedy guide)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia4U - Bertie Wooster - Encyclopedia Article (289 words)
Bertie and his all-knowing valet Jeeves are one of the best-known comic duos in modern English literature.
Bertie is indolent, a parody of Edwardian Era playboys from Wodehouse's youth, yet due to a good heart, sweetness of nature, and unbreakable naivete he remains in the reader's good graces, even as he struggles to extricate himself from such mishaps as getting engaged to unsuitable women or being mistakenly accused of crimes.
Bertie Wooster has been portrayed on television series by Hugh Laurie in the early 1990s, and by Ian Carmichael in the 1960s.
Bertie Wooster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1720 words)
Bertram Wilberforce "Bertie" Wooster is the wealthy, good-natured co-protagonist and narrator of P.
Bertie has at least six uncles, three of whom he has acquired by marriage: Tom Travers, Aunt Dahlia's husband; Spenser Gregson, Aunt Agatha's first husband; Percy Craye, Earl of Worplesdon, her second; Henry Wooster, a "looney", whom the family find a considerable embarrassment; George, Lord Yaxley, who has a fondness for waitresses; and Willoughby Wooster.
Aunt Agatha is of the opinion that Bertie, whom she believes to be a burden to society in his present state, must marry and carry on the Wooster name; furthermore, he must marry a girl capable of moulding his personality and compensating for his many defects.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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