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Goldsboro Books

9780091737191

The Parrot and Other Poems

The Parrot and Other Poems

by P.G. Wodehouse

Publisher Hutchinson

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  • UK First Edition
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  • Hardcover


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About the book

As Wodehouse himself wrote, 'Most poets are more to be pitied than censured. What happens is that they are lured on to the downward path by the fatal fascination of the limerick form. It is so terribly easy to compose the first two lines of a limerick, and, that done, the subject finds it impossible to stop. (Compare the case of the tiger cub, which, at first satisfied with a bowl of milk, goes in stritly for blood after taking its initial coolie). And the difficulty of finding a last line prevents these men sticking to limericks, which would be fairly harmless.'


These poems have never before been published in book form. In his novels P. G. Wodehouse tended to show poets and their admirers as delicate attenuated creatures, but he himself wrote a great deal of comic very, which is technically very clever, and hilariously original. Here are poems of political satire (the Parrot poems, parodies of Poe which where sensational in their day), poems about young love, sports and games, and especially the theatre.

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About the Author

P.G. Wodehouse

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE (/ˈwʊdhaʊs/; 15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975) was an English author and one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century. Born in Guildford, the son of a British magistrate based in Hong Kong, Wodehouse spent happy teenage years at Dulwich College, to which he remained devoted all his life. After leaving school he was employed by a bank but disliked the work and turned to writing in his spare time. His early novels were mostly school stories, but he later switched to comic fiction, creating several regular characters who became familiar to the public over the years. They include the feather-brained Bertie Wooster and his sagacious valet, Jeeves; the immaculate and loquacious Psmith; the feeble-minded Lord Emsworth and the Blandings Castle set; the loquacious Oldest Member, with stories about golf; and the equally loquacious Mr Mulliner, with tall tales on subjects ranging from bibulous bishops to megalomaniac movie moguls.

Although most of Wodehouse's fiction is set in England, he spent much of his life in the US and used New York and Hollywood as settings for some of his novels and short stories. During and after the First World War, together with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, he wrote a series of Broadway musical comedies that were an important part of the development of the American musical. He began the 1930s writing for MGM in Hollywood. In a 1931 interview, his naïve revelations of incompetence and extravagance at Hollywood studios caused a furore. In the same decade, his literary career reached a new peak.

In 1934 Wodehouse moved to France for tax reasons; in 1940 he was taken prisoner at Le Touquet by the invading Germans and interned for nearly a year. After his release he made six broadcasts from German radio in Berlin to the US, which had not yet entered the war. The talks were comic and apolitical, but his broadcasting over enemy radio prompted anger and strident controversy in Britain, and a threat of prosecution. Wodehouse never returned to England. From 1947 until his death he lived in the US, taking dual British-American citizenship in 1955. He was a prolific writer throughout his life, publishing more than ninety books, forty plays, two hundred short stories and other writings between 1902 and 1974. He died in 1975, at the age of 93, in Southampton, New York.

Wodehouse worked extensively on his books, sometimes having two or more in preparation simultaneously. He would take up to two years to build a plot and write a scenario of about thirty thousand words. After the scenario was complete he would write the story. Early in his career he would produce a novel in about three months, but he slowed in old age to around six months. He used a mixture of Edwardian slang, quotations from and allusions to numerous poets, and several literary techniques to produce a prose style that has been compared with comic poetry and musical comedy. Some critics of Wodehouse have considered his work flippant, but among his fans are former British prime ministers and many of his fellow writers.

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  • Book Condition & Notes

    All of our books that a have dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.

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