|1915 - 2015|
In late September of 1915 the British Army launched the Battle of Loos on the Western Front. This marked the first use of poison gas by British forces in the Great War. The Tommies would suffer nearly 60,000 casualties in this appalling battle.
That same month, just over a hundred years ago, a novel called Something Fresh by PG Wodehouse was published (www.amzn.com/1585676586). Something Fresh was the first in a series of novels that would be set in and near Blandings Castle -- Jeeves and Wooster would follow. Some of those poor Tommies in the trenches could, therefore, have had a copy of the Wodehouse classic. Fiction provides us with a means of escape and the soldiers on the Western front were sorely in need of that.
The really astounding thing about Something Fresh is that, a hundred years later...it still is.
|Roast Beef of Old England|
Simpson's in the Strand, London
|Egyptian Cheops Scarab of the Fourth Dynasty!|
The cigar-chomping Peters suffers almost as much from indigestion as from his lost Scarab. He agonizes over the contents of his stomach lining like a 21st century hypochondriac popping his Probiotic pills. Something Fresh remains timely.
If you are an anglophile seeking escape from depressing American Election year news or an insipid sixth season of Downton Abbey pick up a copy of Something Fresh. One hundred years later it still has the power to make us laugh and lift our spirits.
Christopher Kelly is the author of America Invades and Italy Invades: How Italians Conquered the World.