A Damsel in Distress

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1st World Library, Sep 1, 2004 - Fiction - 348 pages
8 Reviews
Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. 1st World Library-Literary Society is a non-profit educational organization. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - - Inasmuch as the scene of this story is that historic pile, Belpher Castle, in the county of Hampshire, it would be an agreeable task to open it with a leisurely descrip-tion of the place, followed by some notes on the history of the Earls of Marshmoreton, who have owned it since the fifteenth century. Unfortunately, in these days of rush and hurry, a novelist works at a disadvan-tage. He must leap into the middle of his tale with as little delay as he would employ in boarding a moving tramcar. He must get off the mark with the smooth swiftness of a jack-rabbit surprised while lunching. Otherwise, people throw him aside and go out to picture palaces. I may briefly remark that the present Lord Marshmore-ton is a widower of some forty-eight years: that he has two children-a son, Percy Wilbraham Marsh, Lord Belpher, who is on the brink of his twenty-first birth-day, and a daughter, Lady Patricia Maud Marsh, who is just twenty: that the chatelaine of the castle is Lady Caroline Byng, Lord Marshmoreton's sister, who married the very wealthy colliery owner, Clifford Byng, a few years before his death (which unkind people say she hastened): and that she has a step-son, Reginald. Give me time to mention these few facts and I am done. On the glorious past of the Marshmoretons I will not even touch.

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User Review  - SueinCyprus - LibraryThing

Unusually for Wodehouse, this is essentially a love story. George Bevan is a likeable young man who has made his fortune by writing popular music. He is beginning to feel a bit jaded when, to his ... Read full review

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User Review  - losloper - LibraryThing

The Earl of Marshmoreton's lively daughter – the damsel of the title – thinks she is in love with one Geoffrey Raymond, but a cheerful American song-writer called George Bevan knows better. After one ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

P. G. Wodehouse was born in 1881. His father was a magistrate in Hong Kong and his mother was staying with a sister in Guildford when he was born. The infant Wodehouse returned with her to Hong Kong, but was shipped back to England with his older brothers two years later to be brought up by a nanny. Wodehouse went to school at Dulwich College, where he did well at cricket. At first he worked hard at his studies, but when he discovered that there would not be enough money to send him to university, his attention drifted. After leaving school, he worked briefly at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in London. He had begun writing at the age of seven and so began contributing to numerous papers and magazines. Wodehouse had published his first book by 1902. He made his first trip to America in 1904 and by 1909 was coming regularly. By the 1920s he was earning $100,000 a year from his books and his work in the theater. In 1929, he went to Hollywood, where he was paid $2000 a week to be a rewrite man. In 1934, partly to escape tax authorities, Wodehouse and his wife bought a villa in Le Touquet on the coast of France. In 1939, Oxford gave him an honorary degree, the same year World War II began. The Wodehouses were still there the next year, when the Germans rolled through, appropriating the villa, confiscating property, and arresting Wodehouse. Wodehouse was in various German camps for about a year; he was released in 1941 just shy of his sixtieth birthday and was allowed to go to Berlin. It was there that he recorded five radio talks to be broadcast to America and England. The talks themselves were completely innocuous, but the response back home was betrayed. No one ever forgot the radio talks, even though Wodehouse was cleared of any propoganda. After the war, Wodehouse settled permanently in America, first in New York City, then in Remsenburg, Long Island. He was awarded a knighthood in 1975, two months before he died Wodehouse is widely regarded as one of the greatest humorists of the 20th century, and and wrote nearly 100 novels and collections of short stories, as well as plays, musicals and song lyrics. He died on February 14, 1975 at 93 years of age.

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