Today in Literary History – September 15, 1915 – the first appearance of Jeeves & Wooster

The September 15, 1915, issue of The Saturday Evening Post featured a comic short story by P.G. Wodehouse in which his two most famous characters, the dim-witted aristocrat Bertie Wooster and his preternaturally adaptable valet Jeeves made their first appearances.

Well, yes and no. The story, Extricating Young Gussie, is narrated by a recognizable Bertie, but his surname is never given (although it is implied that it is Mannering-Phipps) and Jeeves himself has only a minor role and is not yet the genius at saving Bertie and his friends from their folly that he would later become.

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Bertie’s ferocious Aunt Agatha also makes her debut appearance. The story was published in the 1917 collection, The Man With Two Left Feet.

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Jeeves and Wooster didn’t begin to be fleshed out as characters until 1916. They have given me and countless others great joy over the years.

I especially love Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie’s incarnations of them on television. Here’s a taste.

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