Wodehouse, laughter and Kipling

I’ve been reading Wodehouse recently, which is always a good thing to do when convalescing. I’ve always thought laughter is good for you, and there seem to be other people who think so too.  In the gaps I’ve been reading a history of the Irish Guards in the Great War and the Wikipedia list of Prime  Ministers of the UK. Neither of them make particularly cheerful reading, though you can’t base all your reading on its capacity to induce laughter.

I have an interest in the Great War, though I’m not one of those experts who talk knowledgeably about divisions, Army Orders and such. I’m more interested in the human element such as the history of watches and why the government set children to collecting conkers.

The wrist watch became much more popular as a result of the Great War, as a pocket watch isn’t very practical when you are lying face down in mud whilst somebody shoots at you. There had been various attempts at wrist watches over the years but the war was the beginning of the end for the pocket watch.

The conkers were a bit of a distraction, as it turns out.

When I saw that I could get the Irish Guards book for 49p on Kindle I thought I may as well have a go. Apart from my interest in the subject, I was interested in seeing what it was like as it’s written by Rudyard Kipling. Sadly, despite the quality of the writing (and the frequent insertion of light relief in the form of interjections from a comic Irishman) it’s only as interesting as the subject matter allows it to be. It also contains the news that Lieutenant J Kipling was posted missing after the Battle of Loos in 1915. Those must have been hard words to write.

That just leaves the Prime Ministers. I thought I’d brush up on them as I’m a bit deficient in my knowledge of PMs but after a quick run through I realised that I’d discovered an antidote to Wodehouse. I don’t need that, so I’ve left them for the moment – a monument to my ignorance. Well, one of several…



21 thoughts on “Wodehouse, laughter and Kipling

  1. beatingthebounds

    I love Wodehouse, especially the Blandings Castle books. I steered clear of the TV adaptations – Timothy Spall is great, but not remotely close to how I imagine Lord Emsworth. On the other hand, I’m very partial to Martin Jarvis’ readings of Wodehouse – in fact I think they may be proving to be a gateway into P.G. for my youngest who likes them too.
    I’ve read a bit of Kipling too, although not recently, oh – excepting the Just So Stories, which again, the kids enjoy – although I think they prefer Geoffrey Palmer reading them to my interpretations. I’ve never read any history of his though – to be honest, I din’t know he’d written any.
    Happy New Year!

      1. beatingthebounds

        I heard about the book (I think that there are other…and zombie titles) but didn’t realise that it had been filmed.

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