- Minor characters in the Blandings stories
The following is an incomplete compendium of the
fictional characters featured in the Blandings Castlestories of P. G. Wodehouse, in alphabetical order by surname.
Lady Georgiana Alcester
Lord Emsworth's many sisters, Lady Alcester is very fond of dogs (at one point she owns four Pekes (one of which is called Susan), two Pomeranians, a Yorkshire Terrier, five Sealyhams, a Borzoiand an Airedale), making her an ideal customer for her nephew Freddie Threepwoodwhen he comes to England to promote his father-in-law Mr Donaldson's dog biscuits; much to Freddie's disgust, she feeds her many dogs on "Peterson's Pup-food".
The mother of Gertrude, in "
Company for Gertrude" Lady Georgiana disapproves of her daughter's liaison with Rev. Rupert "Beefy" Bingham">"Beefy" Bingham, until she learns of his prospects, and is even more against the crooning tenorOrlo Watkins in " The Go-getter".
Lady Georgiana's daughter, a beautiful girl who is nevertheless miserable company for her uncle
Lord Emsworthwhen, in " Company for Gertrude", she is imprisoned at the castle to keep her away from her beloved, Rev. Rupert "Beefy" Bingham">"Beefy" Bingham. Later, in " The Go-getter", she becomes infatuated with Orlo Watkins, the tenor, until she sees his weak, dog-fearing side.
A nephew of
Lord Emsworth, of undisclosed parentage, Allsop is a struggling musician, a pianist, who visits Blandings in " Galahad at Blandings". The prospect of taking employment at the Girls' School run by Dame Daphne Winkworthworries him considerably, as does the idea of proposing to the Amazonian Monica Simmons; his friend Tipton Plimsoll's advice that he steel himself with drink almost leads to his undoing, when nasty Huxley Winkworth spots him swigging from a flask, but he hides the evidence in the Empress' feeding-trough, leading the prize pig to get herself a skinful. Helping his aunt Lady Hermione Wedge with a spot of burgling loses him his job, but his uncle Gally gets him a post at a music publishing company owned by Plimsoll, allowing him to elope with his beloved.
Lord Emsworth's niece, a pretty girl with fair hair and blue eyes. On the death of her mother Jane, sister of Lord Emsworth and Connie, Angela's money was put in trust until she reached twenty-five, the trustee being Emsworth himself. As a child, Beach was very fond of her, and often amused her with his hippopotamusimpersonation.
Angela has long loved James Belford, who her Aunt Connie thinks unsuitable; when he goes away to work on a farm in America, she becomes engaged to Lord Heacham, but breaks it off on the return of her true love, in "
Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey". Her surname is never revealed.
Samuel Galahad Bagshott
Son of Gally's old pal Boko Bagshott, Sam is a struggling lawyer and poorly paid writer (occasional contributor to "Tiny Tots", the Mammoth children's paper), who is brought to Blandings by Gally to mend a rift between himself and his girl Alexandra "Sandy" Callender">Sandy. While in Market Blandings, Sam gets into trouble with the local police, after accidentally purloining Beach's watch, and hitting the constable who subsequently chases him down. To keep him out of trouble, Gally inveigles him into the castle, in the guise of Augustus Whipple, the famous pig-expert, in "
Galahad at Blandings".
Rev. Cuthbert "Bill" Bailey
A typically large and muscular
curate, Bill Bailey does his good works in the East End parishof Bottleton East, where he chanced to meet and fall in love with Myra Schoonmaker. When she is taken to Blandings for safety, Uncle Fred's assistance is needed to reunite them, and fortunately Fred's nephew Pongo Twistletonis a good friend of Bailey from their Oxford days (where Bailey boxed three years running, and prior to which he attended Harrow). Not the most attractive of men facially, Bailey's soul is clean and pure, and objects strongly to being blackmailed into stealing pigs, in " Service With a Smile".
Major Wilfred Basham, known to all as Plug, was a good friend of
Galahad Threepwood, and features in many of the anecdotes Gally drops like leaves from a tree. A member of the Pelican Club, Basham once knocked "Stinker" Pyke out cold when, having started off throwing bread in "Romano's", he got a little carried away and moved on to a side of beef. His trouble was due to a custom of ordering quarts where others would be satisfied with pints, an old Basham family trait.
His drinking was curtailed when, attending a wedding reception which became entangled with another wedding party being held at the same hotel, he was shocked to find himself seeing two brides. He swore off the booze, and was fortunate to find an appetising and stimulating
teetotalbeverage, by the name of Absinthe. On another occasion, during a pheasant-shooting weekend in Norfolk, Galahad gave Plug a much-needed jolt by secreting a phosphorus-painted pig in his bedroom. Basham was also present for the incident of "Puffy" Benger">"Puffy" Benger and the thunderstorm; pigs were involved once more, when Galahad and Benger borrowed "Old Wivenhoe"'s pig and put it in Basham's room, on the night of the Bachelor's Ball at Hammer's Easton.
Although described as "the late Major Basham" in "Full Moon", his nephew Jerry Vail states that he is in robust health, in "
Pigs Have Wings".
Lord Emsworth's efficient secretary.
Beach's voluptuous niece – see Maudie Stubbs below.
Head butler at
James Bartholomew Belford
Son of a
parsonliving near the castle, who is on cordial terms with Lord Emsworth, Belford had a somewhat wild youth and was sent to America for some unnamed transgression. Finding work on a farm in Nebraska, he learns much, including the art of pig-calling. He returns to England after two years to find his childhood love Angela; although he has enough to live on, he requires some capital to buy a partnership. He uses his farming wisdom and knowledge of pig calls to endear himself to her uncle and trustee, Lord Emsworth, in " Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey".
Art dealer and propreitor of the Bender Gallery, Joe Bender is a friend and business partner of John Halliday, who makes a brief appearance in "
A Pelican at Blandings". He is 28 years old, has a high voice and wears tortoisesehell spectacles, giving him an appropriately artistic appearance. He inherited the gallery from his father, and struggles to maintain its respectability in the face of fake nude portraits by the famous French artist Claude Robichaux.
Puffy Benger was a good friend of
Galahad Threepwoodand fellow member of the Pelican Club, who features in many of his humorous anecdotes of life in the wild 'nineties. On one occasion, staying at a cottage in Somersetshire for some fishing, with Galahad and "Plug" Basham">"Plug" Basham among others, Benger's habit of telling outrageous lies came home when he described his girl as the fastest typist in England, and swore that she could play Chopin's Funeral March in forty-eight seconds. He reproached Basham for suggesting that the lie was so outrageous that the house was in danger of being struck by lightning, saying that if it wasn't true, he hoped the house "would" be struck; which, of course, it promptly was.
We later learn that Benger let his guard down sufficiently to allow a girl to get him alone and reading romantic poetry; as a result, he hung up his glad-rags and became the father of a boy with
adenoidsand two girls.
Admiral George J. "Fruity" Biffen
An old friend of
Galahad Threepwood, Admiral Biffen is a former Pelican. By the time we hear of him, his relations with bookies have become so strained that he rarely leaves home without a false beard; in "Full Moon", he returns a particularly bushy one he has borrowed from Galahad, just in time for it to come in useful to Bill Lister (it made Biffen look like an Assyrian monarch, but renders Lister somewhat frightening). He rented a small cottage for a time, just up the road from Blandings, shortly prior to the events of " Pigs Have Wings", but had to return to Piccadilly, London, on finding the country far too noisy.
Rev. Rupert "Beefy" Bingham
Beefy Bingham is a big, strapping fellow, who became a friend of
Freddie Threepwoodin university days at Oxford, where he took part in rowing (for which he nearly got his blue) and swimming (for which he did). A rather clumsy, bumbling chap with a big red face, who regularly finds himself spilling drinks or tangling himself up in small tables covered in china. He has a dog of uncertain parentage, named Bottles.
After university he became a
curate, and fell in love with Gertrude Alcester. He lacks an income to support her until, in " Company for Gertrude", posing as a Mr "Popjoy" at Blandings and trying to ingratiate himself with Lord Emsworth wins him the living at Much Matchingham. The family, at first against the match, change their minds and become strongly in favour, on learning that Bingham is nephew and heir to a wealthy shipping magnate. Not normally a quick thinker, he knows how to stop a dog fight, a talent which comes in especially handy in " The Go-getter".
Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloeat Matchingham Hall, Binstead is a thin man, lacking the magnificent dignity of a Beach. He appears in " Pigs Have Wings", making extravagant bets in the saloon bar of the Emsworth Arms on the forthcoming Fat Pig contest, but later spoils his own chances with a poorly-placed bottle of "Slimmo". He has large ears, which frequently prick up in hopes of hearing something worth including in his memoirs.
Freddie's nickname for Bill Lister.
Montague "Monty" Bodkin
Lord Emsworth's secretary for a time in "Heavy Weather", and nephew to Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe.
See George Threepwood, Lord Bosham below.
Lord Emsworthin " Service With a Smile", Miss Briggs is a tall young girl, with a cold, haughty eye, harlequinglasses, and what her former employer Lord Tilbury describes as "hair like seaweed". She becomes the bane of Emsworth's life with her haughty efficiency. Requiring capital to start her own typing business, her schemes to acquire it by stealing the Empress get her fired from her job, but her friendship with Uncle Fredsees her through.
A chorus girl, Sue is the daughter of Dolly Henderson. A tiny thing, mostly large eyes and a wide smile, she has a dancer's figure and catches the eye of many a man, including Percy Pilbeam and in the past
Monty Bodkin, to whom she was engaged for a spell, but when we first meet her in " Summer Lightning" she has been fiancée to Ronnie Fish for some nine months. Galahad Threepwood, who adored her mother in his youth, has a fatherly affection for her, and aids her considerably in her hopes of marrying Ronnie; although his sister Julia at one point accuses Gally of being her actual father, in fact Dolly Henderson married Jack Cotterleigh, an Irish Guardsman, while Gally was in South Africa. After her mother's death, they moved to America for a time.
The chemist in Market Blandings, Mr Bulstrode figures in a minor way in "
Pigs Have Wings", his shop being the main local outlet for the wonder-drug "Slimmo", and is mentioned again in " Galahad at Blandings".
Alexandra "Sandy" Callender
A red-headed young girl, Miss Callender used to work for Chet Tipton, and so has a poor opinion of his nephew Tipton Plimsoll's likelihood of getting married. While
Lord Emsworthis in away America, Sandy is hired by Lady Hermione Wedge to be secretary to her brother, a fact that upsets the Earl considerably on his return, especially when he finds Miss Callender has tidied his study. Prior to coming to Blandings, Sandy was engaged to Sam Bagshott, but broke it off when he commented unfavourably on the spectacles she decided to wear to impress her new employer with her seriousness, and refused to take her advice to sell on a valuable sweepstaketicket. Thanks to Gally's intervention, things are patched up, in " Galahad at Blandings".
A tall and lissome man with light hair, a keen and talented dancer and a confirmed gossip, Hugo Carmody is an old friend of Ronnie Fish, with whom he first appears in "Money for Nothing"; the two of them found a
nightclub, "The Hot Spot", just off Bond Street, which goes bust, in part due to some after-hours trading.
Ronnie, before being taken off to
Biarritzby his mother Lady Julia to recuperate, insists on Hugo being given a job, so he becomes Lord Emsworth's secretary, a few weeks before the start of " Summer Lightning". While at Blandings, Hugo falls in love with, and becomes secretly engaged to, Millicent Threepwood, Lord Emsworth's niece. Their relationship runs into trouble, however, when Hugo visits London and takes his old friend Sue Brown out dancing, but all is later resolved, thanks to a purloined pig and the heroic Beach.
Despite needing to work for Emsworth in the short term, Hugo's long-term security is assured, thanks to an inheritance due to him on the death of his uncle Lester Carmody. At University, he boxed in the light-weight division.
A suspicious character visiting Blandings in "
A Pelican at Blandings", Chesney has a letter of introduction from Freddie Threepwood, but is quickly spotted by those in the know as a conman of the first water. A slender, well-turned-out young man of medium height, he fails to sell any of his oil stocks to his host Lord Emsworth. He is later roped in by Vanessa Polk to help in her scheme to steal a painting, but is forced to leave the castle to avoid being recognised by John Halliday, who unsuccessfully defended him once. On his way back by night to receive the painting, he crashes his car, and is last heard of nursing a broken leg in a cottage hospital.
A crook formerly specialising in
card sharping on trans- Atlanticliners, Cootes lost his profession when an irritable mark bit off the tip of his right index finger, a vital tool in that trade. The incident was part of a stream of bad luck that dogged Cootes ever since he lost his love, Smooth Lizzie. He finds her again while attempting to pose as poet Ralston McTodd, and is taken on as valetfor a time by Psmith, in " Leave it to Psmith".
Irish Guardsman, Cotterleigh married Dolly Henderson after Gally was torn away from her to South Africa, and became father to Sue Brown. They moved to America after Dolly's death.
Father of Niagara "Aggie" Threepwood">Aggie and a relative of Angus McAllister, New Jersey City man Donaldson "is" Donaldson's Dog-biscuits. He shares his Scottish relation's rugged physique, but is taller, with a smooth, handsome face and an authoritative look in his strong, keen, level grey eyes; he would look much like a Roman emperor, were it not for his rimless glasses.
When we first meet him in "
The Custody of the Pumpkin", he does not consider himself a rich man, not even having as much as ten million dollars in the whole world, and is highly taken with his son-in-law Freddie Threepwood, who he expects to be an asset to his dog-biscuit business; he is also a believer in Roosevelt's New Deal, under which he believes American dogs are eating more biscuits.
Niagara "Aggie" Donaldson
Freddie Threepwood's wife – see Niagara "Aggie" Threepwood">Aggie Threepwood below.
Younger daughter of Mr Donaldson, sister of Niagara "Aggie" Threepwood">Aggie, Penelope pays a visit to the castle in "
Pigs Have Wings". On the boat on the way over, she meets and falls in love with Jerry Vail, but on arrival at the castle finds Lady Constance Keeblehas lined up Orlo Vosper for her. A courageous and resourceful girl, she has no qualms about inventing family friends as an excuse for visiting Vail in London, and helps out her good friend Gally in various pig-related shenanigans; she is also friendly with Beach, and spends much time sipping port in his pantry.
Alaric, Duke of Dunstable
Ill-tempered, irascible, and in the opinion of many quite insane, Dunstable is an elderly peer, who in his youth had something of a dalliance with Lady Constance (they "whispered together in dim conservatories"), which came to nothing as the Duke was shipped abroad in his youth, having made England too hot for him. By the time we first hear of him, in "
Uncle Fred in the Springtime", Wiltshire-dwelling Dunstable is somewhat overweight, bald of head and wears a moustache like a walrus; Lord Emsworthhas disliked him, in a dreamy sort of way, for 47 years.
He is nevertheless a fairly frequent visitor to the Castle, having apparently been there the previous summer, and has no qualms about demanding special accommodation (he is put in the luxurious Garden Suite). He is working on a history of his family, and employs as his secretary Emsworth's former employee
Rupert Baxter, who he treats with little respect, suspecting him of going on "toots", and directs his ill-temper towards whoever it may be who whistles "The Bonny Banks o' Loch Lomond" outside his windows (on one occasion this is Baxter, who receives a well-aimed egg in the face). His sanity is questioned even by his old friend Connie, who calls in Sir Roderick Glossopto inspect him; he later has the Empress kidnapped and hidden in his bathroom.
Service With a Smile", he once again comes up against Uncle Fred, and once again schemes to take Emsworth's pig away from him, hiring Lavender Briggs to do the dirty work and hoping to make a tidy profit by selling her to Lord Tilbury, whom he knows from younger days as "Stinker" Pyke. He is bizarrely befriended by George Threepwood, who is fascinated by the Duke's moustache, but despite George's help is once more scuppered by Uncle Fred.
He also appears in "
A Pelican at Blandings", returning to Blandings after an electrical fire left his house smelling of smoke. He tries to make money out of Wilbur Trout, by buying a painting he knows Wilbur wants, and is persuaded by Connie to propose to Vanessa Polk in writing, a move which puts him into the hands of the incomparable Gally. We learn that in his youth he was soundly blackballedby the members of the Pelican Club, and that he broke off his engagement to Connie when the marriage settlement failed to live up to his expectations.
In the short "
Birth of a Salesman", the young lady known only by her relationship to her husband has an important influence on Lord Emsworth's happiness while visiting America. A small, friendly and companionable girl, she is more than capable of fixing scrambled eggsand finding bacon, coffee and even toast in a strange kitchen, and is attempting to raise money by selling richly-bound encyclopaedias of Sport. She hopes to raise money as Ed works in a garage and his pay won't stretch to extras, such as the baby she has due the following January, but keeps her career from her husband as he would have a fit. She finds the work tough going and suffers from blisters, and is thus the instigator of Emsworth's brief career in sales.
Second-in-command of the
Hong KongPolice force, Emerson has been in love with Aline Peters since he wore knickerbockers, a fact he never fails to point out to her when they meet, even when she is engaged to someone else. In " Something Fresh", Emerson is invited down to Blandingsby Freddie Threepwood, and uses his time there to press his suit with his host's fiancee.
Wodehouse's choice of the name George Emerson for this character was not accidental.Fact|date=June 2008
A Room with a Viewby E. M. Forsterwas published seven years earlier than Something Freshin 1908, and was a well known novel then, as it is now. In A Room with a Viewa character named George Emerson declares his love for Lucy Honeychurch to her even though she, like Aline Peters, is engaged to someone else. The events that follow in the two novels concerning both the George Emersons are closely alligned.
In "Something New", the U.S. version of the book, Emerson is an American from Pittsburgh, a rising member of a
New Yorklaw firm; a fierce patriot, this Emerson loathes all things British and loves all things American.
The master of Marling Hall, near neighbour of
Blandings Castle, is also the local Master of Hounds, but is not familiar with important local dignitary Lord Emsworth. This fact is significant when, in the short " Sticky Wicket at Blandings", Fanshawe mistakes the elderly Earl for a prowler, and has him locked in the coal cellar, requesting Emsworth come around in his capacity as Justice of the Peaceto pronounce summary judgement. He has a wife, and a spaniel, of which he thinks the world.
The attractive Miss Fanshawe is daughter of Colonel Fanshawe. Acknowledged by
Galahad Threepwoodto be 'a dish and a pippin', with her golden hair, blue eyes, and figure rendered slender and lisson by years of healthy country pursuits, Valerie would excite jealousy in any wife who found her husband showering the girl in gifts. Fortunately for Freddie, her father's word is law at Marling, but Valerie is more than capable of talking him into the purchase of a new brand of dog-biscuits, in the short " Sticky Wicket at Blandings".
Lady Julia Fish
Lord Emsworth's sisters, Lady Julia is "a handsome middle aged woman of the large and blonde type, of a personality both breezy and commanding". She has a resolute chin and china-blue eyes, and a patronizing good humour about her manner. In her childhood, her angelic appearance often fooled people into thinking her charming, until they realised she could be even more vicious than her sisters. She disapproves of her son Ronnie marrying chorus girls, and although her sister Connie believes she can persuade Julia to allow such things, Julia herself is willing to take firm action. Her resolution trembles somewhat, however, on hearing that her late husband Miles' reputation is at stake, in "Heavy Weather".
Sir Miles Fish
Major General Sir Miles Fish, C.B.O. of the
Brigade of Guards, once described by Lord Emsworthas the biggest fool in that regiment, is the late husband of Lady Julia Fish and father of Ronnie. Although by the time he married he was, even in Lady Julia's opinion, "stodgily respectable", in his youth he was known as "Fishy" Fish and had some wild moments, including, in the late summer of '97, riding a bicycle down Piccadillywearing only sky-blue underclothing, and in the early morning of New Year's Day1892, trying to shoot a coal-scuttle with some fire-tongs, having drunkenly mistaken it for a mad dog, facts revealed by Gally to keep Julia in line in "Heavy Weather".
Ronald Overbury Fish
Lady Julia's son, Drone and would-be entrepreneur Ronnie is good friends with Hugo Carmody, with whom he once ran a
nightclub(in "Money for Nothing"). A highly jealous young man, in " Summer Lightning" and "Heavy Weather" he is in love with Sue Brown, and resents her long-time friendships with Carmody and past engagement to Monty Bodkin.
Educated at Eton and Cambridge (where he got a feather-weight boxing blue), he is sensitive about his short stature and red face, drives a jaunty two-seater
Austin Sevenand smokes his cigarettes in a long holder. Never known for the speed of his wits, he can act fast in a crisis, and is invariably well-informed on matters of the turf, a knack which his good friend Beach is regularly grateful. As a child, Beach played bears with him in the pantry, and used to take him fishing on the lake; later, when Ronnie was a Freshman at Cambridge, he borrowed five pounds from Beach to see him through to his next allowance.
For a time, he has a
valet, named Bessemer. He also has a cousin named George, whose father is a bishop and who gets married in Norfolk, with Ronnie as best man, at the start of "Heavy Weather".
Lady Dora Garland
Lord Emsworth's tall and stately sisters, Lady Dora is the widow of Sir Everard Garland, and lives in an apartment on the fourth floor of Wiltshire House, Grosvenor Square, with her daughter Prudence, her three dogs (two spaniels and an Irish Setter), and a butler named Riggs. She disapproves of her daughter's dalliance with Bill Lister, and sends her off to Blandings for safety, in "Full Moon".
Sir Everard Garland
A K.C.B, the late Sir Everard was the husband of Lady Dora and father of Prudence.
Daughter of Lady Dora and niece of
Lord Emsworth, Prudence is a rather small, pretty girl (though not as pretty as her cousin Veronica) with blue eyes. In "Full Moon" she is in love and plotting an elopement with the artist Bill Lister, but is sent to Blandings to keep her away from him; there, in her despondent mood, she decides to bury herself in good works, much to the horror of her uncle Clarence.
Alaric "Ricky" Gilpin
The nephew of the Duke of Dunstable, Ricky Gilpin is, despite being a
poet, a large, beefy chap with red hair and a quick-temper. His mother, the Duke's sister, married beneath her, to one William "Billy" Gilpin, a member of the Connaught Rangers, who was a friend of Uncle Fred; Billy, apparently, looked the dead spit of his nephew and had same hot temper - Fred often had to sit on his head. The muscular Ricky once cleaned up against three simultaneous Covent Gardencostermongers in five minutes. On another occasion, he rescued Claude "Mustard Pott">"Mustard" Pott from a gang of thugs bent on his destruction, and, on taking him home, met and fell in love with Polly Pott. His uncle disapproves of the match, and also of Ricky's plan to buy an onion-soup bar in Coventry Street off Piccadillyfrom an American friend, despite its great financial potential. Ricky attended a ball as Little Lord Fauntleroy, in " Uncle Fred in the Springtime".
Cousin of Alaric "Ricky" Gilpin">Ricky and another nephew of the Duke of Dunstable, handsome, long-haired Archie is a struggling artist, once employed by the Mammoth Publishing Company but fired for drawing a satirical portrait of Lord Tilbury. His dismissal causes a rift with his betrothed, Millicent Rigby, and he is for a time engaged to Myra Schoonmaker, even after Millicent forgives him and renews their engagement. He also needs £1000 to buy into Ricky's thriving onion-soup business, and is prone to tugging at his long hair in despair, but all is resolved by the twinkling
Uncle Fredin " Service With a Smile".
Niece of Alaric, Duke of Dunstable and brother of Alaric "Ricky" Gilpin">Ricky, Linda is a pretty, slim young girl with blue eyes and chestnut hair, who appears in "
A Pelican at Blandings", visiting the castle with her uncle shortly after becoming engaged to Johnny Halliday. She objects to being roughly treated in court, but has strong motherly instincts when those she loves are hurt. Gally, who works hard to smooth the way for the couple, refers to her as a 'popsy'.
A small girl from the
Drury Lanearea of London, at the age of around twelve or thirteen Gladys visits Blandings Parva for the fresh air. She has a kind of wizened motherliness about her, and a fondness for flowers ("Flarze") which gets her into trouble with Angus McAllister; fleeing him, she hits him in the shin with a well-thrown stone. She has a small, freckled brother named Ern who she looks out for, and who bites Lady Constance in the leg. These two leg-injuring incidents, as well as her skill at controlling large dogs, endear her to Lord Emsworthin the short " Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend".
Sir Roderick Glossop
A prominent loony-doctor who almost visits Blandings in "
Uncle Fred in the Springtime", where we learn that he was at school with Lord Emsworth, and was known as "Pimples".
The Bishop of Godalming
A relative of the Threepwoods who visits Blandings during "
Something Fresh", his holy office often prevents him from putting into words the less kindly thoughts that may enter his head, particularly concerning Lord Emsworth's ideas of hospitality; he nevertheless relishes hearing such thoughts aired by others.
Leave it to Psmith", Eve first catches Psmith's eye while sheltering from the rain under the awning of a coal merchant's opposite the Drones; she has already smitten Freddie Threepwood, who has got her a job at the castle, cataloguing the library (for the first time since the year 1885).
Eve's late father, a clever but erratic
writer, was not a wealthy man, but sent her to exclusive Wayland House school, despite barely having the money to buy himself tobacco. There she met Phyllis Keeble, later Jackson, stepdaughter of millionaire Joe Keeble, who she comes to pity when she falls on hard times; unlike Eve, Phyllis is a delicate plant not meant to struggle. Eve gets by on a small annuity from a late uncle, but frequently has to find work due to tempting but expensive hats, gloves and other necessities.
A highly attractive young girl, Eve is adept at deflecting proposals from young men like
Freddie Threepwood, but finds Psmith's approach more difficult to fend off. Capable and efficient, she works hard at her cataloguing job despite Psmith's attempts to lure her away; a faithful and reliable friend, she does much to help Phyllis get the money she deserves.
J. D. "Stiffy" Halliday
A prominent member of the Pelican Club, "Stiffy" Halliday was a close friend of
Galahad Threepwood, who was best man at his wedding and was made godfather on the birth of his son Johnny. Halliday is famous for having knocked down the Duke of Dunstable with a cold turkey, during an altercation at Romano's about the apostolic claims of the church of Abyssinia.
Like many of his fellow-Pelicans, Stiffy generally presented a rather weary aspect to the world, looking like he had slept in his clothes and hadn't had time to shave. Also like so many of his cronies, he didn't make it past his early forties, leaving Johnny to fend for himself, with Gally's capable help.
John Stiffy Halliday is a
barristerwith a part-interest in a small art gallery, who pays a brief visit to Blandings in " A Pelican at Blandings". He arrives in the persona of a psychiatrist, junior partner to Sir Roderick Glossop, ostensibly hired to analyse Lord Emsworthbut in reality hoping to press his suit with Linda Gilpin.
A neat, trim, fit, athletic-looking chap, his
golf handicapis 6 and he plays excellent squash racquets. His London address is in Halsey Court, W1, where his landlady is known to all as "Ma" Balsam. He got his middle name from the nickname given to his father, and was at Oxford with Linda's brother Alaric "Ricky" Gilpin">Ricky. Gally was instrumental in smuggling his godson into the castle, having been called on for help after an estrangement between the man and his beloved Linda, result of Halliday's zealous devotion to his duty as a lawyer despite his fiancee being a witness.
He is well known by some criminal types, such as Howard Chesney, who pushes him down the Blandings stairs in hopes of avoiding recognition; the bump on the head thus received is instrumental in restoring Johnny to Linda's favours.
Shropshirelandowner, who was for a time engaged to Angela. A solemn man in riding-britches, he upsets his potential father-in-law Lord Emsworthwith his disgraceful and rather violently-expressed malevolence towards pigs, in " Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey". Despite his wealth and glamour, and the approval of Lady Constance, he is rejected by Angela, much to Emsworth's pleasure.
A one-time star of the
music-hallstage, Dolly was "serio" at the old Oxford and the Tivoli, and the only girl Galahad ever loved. After they were forced apart by the family, Dolly married a Guardsman named Jack Cotterleigh, and they had a daughter, Sue Brown. She died, however, shortly after which her husband and daughter moved to America. London is still apparently full of elderly gentlemen who become pleasantly maudlin when they think of her though.
A friend of
Nee Keeble, Phyllis is the daughter of Joseph Keeble, who is married to Mike when we first meet her at the start of "
Leave it to Psmith". Phyllis is a pretty little girl with large brown eyes, a good friend of Eve Halliday from their days at Wayland House school. She incurred the wrath of Lady Constance by refusing to marry swimmy-eyed Rollo Mountford, and instead eloping with Mike.
J. Horace Jevons
The Chicago-born millionaire for whom
Rupert Baxterworks both before and after his reign of terror at Blandings, Mr Jevons treats Baxter with respect and even obsequiousness. Baxter regretfully leaves his service when Mr Jevons decides to return to his native land, but after a spell with the Duke of Dunstable, the efficient secretary returns to Jevons employ, in America..
An extremely fat and wheezy man, with sleek grey hair and a mauve face, ever-jovial Mr R. Jones is a
bookmakerand sometime money-lender, trusted by many a young man in their hour of need, much as he is relied upon by Freddie Threepwoodto get him out of trouble in " Something Fresh". He is, however, a grasping and untrustworthy type, always with his eye on the main chance. His rather run-down offices are to be found somewhere near the Strand; he is known to his friends as "Dickie".
Lady Constance Keeble
Lord Emsworth's bossiest sister and chatelaineat the castle.
Lady Constance Keeble's first husband, the doting stepfather of Phyllis is a short man with a round, grizzled head and a pink face. He made a large fortune in South African diamondmines, and was already fairly elderly and a widowerby the time he married Connie, some two years before the events of " Leave it to Psmith". Though their relationship is close and loving, Joe often regrets giving her the supervisory role over their mutual bank account, and worries that her valuable jewellery is vulnerable to thieves. He has a distinct dislike for the smell of heliotrope. Keeble does not appear in subsequent novels, and passes away some time before " Service With a Smile".
William Galahad Lister
Known to most as Bill, but to
Freddie Threepwoodas "Blister", Mr Lister is an artist, a large and muscular man (he was once a finalist in an Amateur Boxingchampionship) with a face like a gorilla, who is bizarrely adored by Prudence Garland and terrorises Tipton Plimsoll with his repeated appearances, in "Full Moon".
Lister's mother was a strongwoman on the
music hallstage, and his father a sporting journalist. His uncle owned the "Mulberry Tree" innoutside Oxford, which Freddie Threepwood spent much time in as a student (it was in this period that he befriended Blister), and which Lister later inherits. Both Freddie and his uncle Galahad, Lister's godfather, support Lister in his wooing of Prudence; when their planned elopement is scuppered by Prudence's mother, Lister makes his way to Blandings, under the name of "Messmore Breamworthy", on a commission to paint the portrait of Empress of Blandings. He later poses as a gardener, wearing an impressive false beard provided by Galahad's friend Admiral "Fruity" Biffen">"Fruity" Biffen, and later still takes on the name of Landseer in yet another attempt to be near Prudence by painting the pig. At Prudence's insistence, he plans to give up art to run the Mulberry Tree, but needs investment to modernise the place.
Lady Mildred Mant
Lord Emsworth's eldest daughter, Lady Mildred appears in " Something Fresh". She has a personal maid named Willoughby and is married to a Colonel.
Colonel Horace Mant
Husband of Lady Mildred, the
Colonelis in the Scots Guards. He is a forthright man, highly critical of Lord Emsworth's style of hospitality, and suspicious of the level of sanity exhibited by the inmates of Blandings during the events of " Something Fresh". He once twisted his ankle badly, during a hill campaign in the winter of '93.
The hero of "
Something Fresh", Ashe Marson is a young man from the village of Much Middleford, Salop., who as a youth, while playing truant from Sunday School, became adept at imitating two cats fighting in a backyard. He later attended Oxford, where he excelled more at athletics than in intellectual pursuits. He took a minor degree and became for a time a private tutor, prior to taking up the trade he plies when we first meet him, as writer of the popular "Gridley Quayle" mysteries, published by the Mammoth Publishing Company under the pseudonym"Felix Clovelly".
Meeting Joan Valentine stimulates him to broaden his horizons and take on something new and exciting, and he soon falls in love with her while masquerading as a
valet. An aficionado of physical fitness in all forms, and particularly Swedish exercises, Marson despises ill-health in others, and cures his employer Mr. Peters' indigestion with a regime of cold baths, exercise and beautiful thoughts.
In "Something New", the U.S. version of the book, Marson is an American, born in "Hayling", near
Boston, Massachusetts; he later attended Harvard, before coming to England to continue his studies at Oxford under a Rhodes Scholarship.
The Scottish Head Gardener at Blandings in later stories, Thorne's successor is a similarly imperious man, with a sturdy, rugged, knobbly physique, large eyebrows, a wiry red beard and little respect for his alleged employer's ideas on gardening. The Glaswegian's views on gravelling the famous Yew Alley are particularly appalling to
Lord Emsworth, and his ideas on hollyhocks are nothing short of seditious, but his skill with flowers and pumpkins is admirable. His favourite sayings are "Mphm" and "Grmph", always delivered with a very Scottish expression on his face.
McAllister first appears in the background of "
Leave it to Psmith", but takes centre stage in " The Custody of the Pumpkin", when his "sort of cousin" Niagara "Aggie" Donaldson">Aggie Donaldson becomes engaged to Freddie Threepwood, and McAllister withdraws his services as gardener just before the Shropshire Show. From then on, relations between McAllister and Emsworth continue to bubble away in the background of many stories.
The "Singer of Saskatoon",
Canadian poetMcTodd is married to Cynthia, a friend of Phyllis Jackson and Eve Halliday, and is invited to Blandings by Lady Constance, ever a supporter of the literary arts, in " Leave it to Psmith". A sullen, gloomy man with long, disorderly hair, he is a cigar-lover who likes to be the centre of attention, and to impress people with his epigrams. He rows with his wife frequently, and is insulted by Lord Emsworth's eccentric ways, spurning his invitation to the castle, thereby allowing Psmithto impersonate him for a time. One of his verses, from the collection "Songs of Squalor", begins with the line "Across the pale parabola of joy..."
A name used by Rev. Cuthbert "Bill" Bailey">Bill Bailey when he visits Blandings incognito.
The landlord of the Emsworth Arms, Mr Ovens brews excellent
ale, although he may focus too much on this side of his business; the hardness and lumpiness of his beds proves too much for Jerry Vail in " Pigs Have Wings". Many previous visitors, however, have stayed there without complaint, and the innis widely recognised as the finest in Market Blandings. His home-brewed ale is generally recognised as superb, instilling a mellow quality to all who sample it, a fact put to good use by Uncle Fredin " Service With a Smile".
Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe
Lord Emsworth's neighbour and rival.
A drippy American
poetess of the new school, Miss Peavey is invited to Blandings by Lady Constance, who met and befriended her on a liner, and while there sickens all with her pronouncements that the dew is like the tears of fairies. However, although a genuine poetess, she is also a crook, known to all as Smooth Lizzie, former fiancee of Edward Cootes. The two are reunited, and scheme to steal Connie's valuable necklace, in " Leave it to Psmith".
Son of the Duke of Dunstable's late brother, who collected
Japanese Prints, Horace's mother's maiden name was Hilsbury-Hepworth; though he inherited his large nose from his father's side, he has her fawn-like eyes. He had measles as a child, and soon after he shot up to a great height. When we meet him in " Uncle Fred in the Springtime", he wears tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles, and is not the most vivacious dresser, preferring tried and trusted styles, although he attended the Bohemian Ball at the Albert Hall dressed as a Zuluwarrior, complete with assegai. He dances, according to his fiancee Valerie Twistleton, "like a dromedary with the staggers", and takes lessons from Polly Pott, causing some strife between himself and his cousin Alaric "Ricky" Gilpin">Ricky. He worries that he may inherit his uncle's tendency toward loopiness, drives a jaunty Bingley, and lives 52 Bloxham Mansions, Park Lane, where he has a man named Webster.
Freddie Threepwood's fiancée in " Something Fresh", Aline is daughter of the American millionaire J. Preston Peters, a gentle, kindly girl who dotes on her father to the extent of starving herself to support his struggle with dyspepsia, and is in turn adored by George Emerson, who she finds too volcanic and superman-ish for her tastes. Her old schoolfriend Joan Valentine thinks she has been spoiled by too much ease, and that having to fight a little for her independence would be the making of her; Emerson, on the other hand, thinks her perfect. She eventually realises her long-standing love for him, when he shows signs of weakness and brings out her mothering instinct.
J. Preston Peters
Father of Aline, Peters is an American from
Memphis, Tennessee, a forceful, self-made millionaire who as a boy made twenty dollars a week selling mint to saloon keepers. After over-work gave him indigestionand led to a nervous breakdown, he took up collecting scarabs, and amassed a vast and prodigious collection. His indigestion has left him quick-tempered and an insomniac, during bouts of which he likes to be read to, ideally out of a well-thumbed cookbook. His digestion is improved no end by the regime of exercise he is put on by Ashe Marson, in " Something Fresh".
Lady Diana Phipps
The only one of
Lord Emsworth's sisters whom Galahad likes.
Percy Frobisher Pilbeam
Head of the Argus Private Inquiry Agency, who visits Blandings in "
Summer Lightning" and "Heavy Weather".
Lord Emsworth's pigman, brought in to replace the treacherous Wellbeloved, he is in the job throughout " Summer Lightning" and "Heavy Weather". A capable and reliable sort, Pirbright is a long lean, scraggy man, whose vocabulary is normally limited to the words "ur", "yur" and "nur", but when roused includes "Gur!" ("which is Shropshirefor, 'you come along with me and I'll shut you up somewhere while I go and inform his lordship of what has occurred'", according to "Heavy Weather"). He lives in a small cottage near the Castle, adjacent to the Empress' purpose-built new sty, first inhabited during "Heavy Weather". Pirbright later moves to Canada, to be replaced by Pott.
A tall, thin American, Plimsoll wears horn-rimmed spectacles and is the nephew of the late Chet Plimsoll, an old friend of Galahad. He is a wealthy man thanks to having inherited a majority stake in "Tipton's Stores", a large and successful chain of shops, for which
Freddie Threepwoodhopes to persuade Plimsoll to buy his "Donaldson's Dog-Joy" dog biscuits in "Full Moon". Plimsoll is in the midst of an epic bender celebrating his new-found wealth, when spots on his chest and the repeated appearance of the singularly odd face of Bill Lister persuade him to avoid alcohol for a spell; visiting Blandings, he at once falls in love with Veronica Wedge, and becomes jealous of Freddie's intimacy with the girl, especially when he hears of their past engagement. Plimsoll himself was once engaged to a girl named Doris Jimpson, a coincidence which leads him to the door of E. Jimpson Murgatroydon discovery of his spots.
Plimsoll appears again in "
Galahad at Blandings", which sees his engagement to Veronica once more under threat, and requiring further finess from Gally to smooth out; the two eventually elope to a registry office, avoiding the need for a large wedding, taking with them Wilfred Allsop and Monica Simmons, who Tipton was instrumental in bringing together.
A friendly and charming young girl, Miss Polk visits the castle in "
A Pelican at Blandings", having befriended Connie on a boat over from America. The daughter of financial emperor J. B. Polk, he of the banks, railroads, mines etc., would always be welcome at the castle, and Connie encourages her friend the Duke of Dunstable the woo Vanessa. It later emerges that she is in fact J. B. Polk's secretary, her father being P. P. Polk of Norwich, once valet to an American millionaire who met his wife, then a housemaid at the castle, during a visit with his master and later moved to the U.S. with her, becoming a restaurateur.
Vanessa worked her way up the ladder to become the richer Polk's private secretary, helped by the coincidence of her surname, and a longing to see the castle her mother had spoken of so often led her to dissemble to Lady Constance to get an invitation. During her visit, she is approved of by
Lord Emsworth, who thinks she has sound views on pigs, and also by Wilbur Trout, an old fiancé of hers who comes to admire her strong independent nature. She elopes with Trout after an abortive attempt at burglary, prompting an all-important letter of proposal from Dunstable.
See Rev. Rupert "Beefy" Bingham">Beefy Bingham above.
Claude "Mustard" Pott
Double-chinned Mr Pott, "a stout, round, bald, pursy little man of about fifty", is a
private detectiveand former Silver Ringbookie, an old friend of Uncle Fred(who provided the money to set up his detective business), and father of Polly. In a long and varied career he also ran a club for a time, and was a minor Shakespearean actor; he has, in his time, been bitten by a pig (and a lamb). An incorrigible gambler and lover of soft marks, he is very skilled at the game known as "Persian Monarchs" (although not as quite good as the Duke of Dunstable), and can always deal himself an unbeatable hand at "Slippery Joe". When we meet him, in " Uncle Fred in the Springtime", he lives at 6 Wilbraham Place, Sloane Square, and disapproves of his daughter's affection for impoverished poetAlaric "Ricky" Gilpin">Ricky Gilpin, hoping she may instead be persuaded to marry his wealthier cousin Horace.
Lord Emsworth's pig man in "Full Moon", Mr Pott is an elderly, gnome-like man with a strong odour and no roof to his mouth. He is at one point required to remove his charge Empress of Blandingsfrom the bedroom of Veronica Wedge, where she has done sterling work bringing Miss Wedge together with Tipton Plimsoll, and is later bribed by Gally to keep quiet about it.
He is also involved in capturing Bill Lister after he is mistaken for a burglar; Pott is able to hold Lister captive, despite Lister's size, thanks mostly to the unintelligible nature of his speech, and his advanced years. He leaves Emsworth's service after winning a considerable sum of money on the
football pools, to be replaced by Monica Simmons.
A small and extremely pretty girl with soft grey eyes, Polly is the daughter of Claude "Mustard" Pott">"Mustard" Pott, and, having spent her holidays at Ickenham when a child, is well known to and adored by
Uncle Fred. In " Uncle Fred in the Springtime", she is in love with Alaric "Ricky" Gilpin">Ricky Gilpin, and causes some trouble by teaching dancing to, and attending a ball with, his cousin Horace; she later visits Blandings Castlemasquerading as Gwendolyne, daughter of Sir Roderick Glossop. She is chivalrously admired and assisted by Pongo Twistleton, who finds her cosy and not too sophisticated.
The Pride of Matchingham
A fat pig, owned by
Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, the Pride is the biggest rival to Lord Emsworth's prize sow the Empress of Blandingsat the local agricultural show for several years, before being replaced by the far more challenging Queen of Matchingham.
A visitor to Blandings in "
Leave it to Psmith".
A name by which
George Alexander Pyke, Lord Tilburywas known in his younger days, used by both Galahad Threepwoodand Alaric, Duke of Dunstable.
The Queen of Matchingham
Another fat pig owned by
Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, the Queen is successor to the Pride of Matchingham, brought in from Kentaround the time of " Pigs Have Wings". The Queen is a worthy rival to Empress of Blandings, a pig of massive girth and eating power. She is the subject of several kidnappings, stashings and relocations, including a spell in Jerry Vail's kitchen, and finally has her chances of victory in the ShropshireAgricultural Show scuppered thanks to the blunderings of Binstead and several gallons of "Slimmo".
Miss Rigby appears in "
Service With a Smile", at which time she is secretary to George Alexander Pyke, Lord Tilbury, and visits Market Blandings in that capacity. While there, she picks up her relationship with Archie Gilpin, severed due to his rash behaviour, and their love is abetted by Uncle Fred.
Jno. (John) Robinson
Driver of the Market Blandings station taxi, Mr Jno. (John) Robinson holds a
monopoly, owning the only taxi in the village. He crops up in many stories (in one of which he is referred to as "Ed. Robinson").
An attractive and athletic young girl, Miss Salt is engaged to
Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloeat the start of " Pigs Have Wings", and has in the past been romantically linked to both Jerry Vail and Orlo Vosper. A sporty type, she loves tennis and golf (she has a handicap of 6 at St Andrews) and objects to "Tubbby" Parsloe's physique, insisting he cut back on the pleasures of the table, much to his resentment. She later realises she cannot countenance marriage to a man with such chins, and runs off with her true love.
An American, Schoonmaker was in his youth a sporting man, an
All-American footballer, and an old crony of Gally (although he referred to him as "Johnny"), who mixed the finest Mint Julep in America. He also knew Uncle Fredbefore that worthy's ascension to Earldom, at which time Schoonmaker was a junior member of a Wall Streetfirm. By the time we hear of him, he has succeeded in business and made a considerable fortune, and become a large and impressive gentleman, with what the Duke of Dunstable describes as a "head like a Spanish onion", interrupted by tortoiseshellglasses.
Service With a Smile", he has already become the object of Lady Constance's affections, and is called to Blandings when Connie discovers that his daughter Myra is in danger of marrying a curate. With help from G. Ovens' miraculous ale, he reveals to his old friend Uncle Fred that he admires Connie, but considers himself unworthy of her; Fred's encouragement, and Connie's distress at seeing Myra and Rev. Cuthbert "Bill" Bailey">Bill Bailey elope together, help him screw up his courage, and the two are married in New York, at the start of " Galahad at Blandings".
James' pretty daughter, who is of the "small, slim, slender type". She is kept away by a telegram from Ronnie Fish. Her Aunt Edna is dead and her Aunt Edith is paralysed, facts of which Sue Brown is of course unaware when she impersonates Miss Schoonmaker at Blandings.
When Myra finally does make it to Blandings in "
Service With a Smile", she is there by force, dragged away from a London season by Lady Constance to protect her from an unsuitable relationship. A proud, forceful girl, she breaks off her engagement to Rev. Cuthbert "Bill" Bailey">Bill Bailey several times, even at one point becoming briefly attached to the artist Archie Gilpin, before Uncle Fred, who knew her as a young girl, frequently gave her her bath and consequently thinks of her as a sort of honorary daughter, manages to set things straight.
The Amazonian Miss Simmons is one of six daughters of a rural vicar, all of whom played Hockey for Roedean. A graduate of an Agricultural College, she becomes
Lord Emsworth's pig-tender, first appearing in " Pigs Have Wings". She is at first viewed with some suspicion by Emsworth, mostly due to her being niece to Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, his rival, but also in part thanks to her habit of referring to the mighty Empress as a "piggy-wiggy", a term which later becomes rather comforting to his lordship.
She returns to the pen in "
Galahad at Blandings", in which she is courted by the diminutive Wilfred Allsop, and must defend her charge from the devious Huxley Winkworth.
chauffeurat the Castle, who rises considerably in the below-stairs social ladder thanks to being the bearer of some rare gossip, in " Something Fresh".
A resident of a large white house with a pleasant flower-filled front garden in suburban
Long Island, Spenlow is better known to his near neighbour Freddie Threepwoodas 'The Timber Wolf', thanks to his having made his fortune in the lumber industry. His habit of inviting blondes to his house and throwing wild parties while his wife is away does not endear him to Freddie, but to Lord Emsworthit seems a sign of a sportsmanlike nature, making him the target of the Earl's first stab at salesmanship, in the short " Birth of a Salesman".
Percy, Lord Stockheath
A cousin of
Freddie Threepwood, who is very worried by Percy's highly embarrassing breach of promisecase in " Something Fresh". He is not the brightest young man, with an unfortunate susceptibility for pretty girls. His father suffers from gout, especially when required to pay for Percy's mistakes, during bouts of which he repairs to Droitwich. Percy has a valetnamed Ferris.
An old companion of Galahad, Buffy was a member of the Pelican Club, whose unfortunate demise is frequently used by Galahad to illustrate the dangers of drinking
tea. Mr Struggles, after attending a Temperance lecture and learning what alcohol does to the liver, renounced drink and imbibed only tea, until a few days later he was run over by a Hansom caband killed (a fate which, Galahad asserts, he could easily have dodged had his system been kept alert with a healthy tipple or two).
Born Maudie Beach, the niece of Blandings butler
Sebastian Beachwas something of a bohemian as a youth, and ran away from home to become a barmaid at the "Criterion", taking on the "nom de guerre" Maudie Montrose. During her time there, the voluptuous Ms Montrose was a popular girl, friendly with the likes of Galahad Threepwoodand "Tubby" Parsloe. She and Parsloe were engaged for a time, and planned a honeymoon in Paris, but their plans fell through due to some confusion.
She later married a man named Digby, who owned a Detective Agency which she inherited on his death and continued to run in an administrative capacity, and later a man named Stubbs, who also died; she lived in "a neat little house in the suburb of Valley Fields". When she arrives at Blandings in "
Pigs Have Wings", called in to keep tabs on the Empress, she takes the name of "Mrs Bunbury" (after the character from Oscar Wilde's play " The Importance of Being Earnest"), and still bears a striking resemblance to Mae West; notoriously anti-female Lord Emsworthtakes something of a shine to her, but she is finally reunited with and marries her old flame "Tubby" Parsloe.
The Head Gardener at Blandings in "
Something Fresh", Thorne is an autocratic Scotsman with whom Lord Emsworthfrequently has to wrangle on the subject of flowers. He is succeeded in later stories by Angus McAllister.
Lord Bosham's wife.
Clarence Threepwood, 9th Earl of Emsworth
Master of Blandings Castle.
Lord Emsworth's younger son.
Lord Emsworth's unmarried younger brother.
George Threepwood, Lord Bosham
Lord Emsworth's eldest son and heir to the earldom, who we first meet in the flesh in " Uncle Fred in the Springtime", though he is mentioned occasionally in earlier stories. A solid man in his mid-30s, with a pink face, Lord Bosham lives a secluded life in a remote corner of Hampshire, with his wife Cicely and his two sons, George and James. Like his father, mental agility is not his strong point - he once bought a gold brick from a man in the street, and later gave his wallet to Uncle Fred, at the time a complete stranger, "to show he trusted him". As a boy , he was frequently spanked by his aunt Connie with the back of a hairbrush. He was once involved in a breach-of-promise case, and now he is married he misses the excitements of youth, particularly gamblingat cards, as he now only gets to play a little bridge. Like his brother Freddie Threepwood, he loves reading thrillers.
Lord Bosham's second son, who resents having to have tutors during the summer holidays, considering the idea "a bit off". He is the proud owner of an
air gunin the classic short " The Crime Wave at Blandings", although is quite unruffled by having it taken away from him for shooting Rupert Baxterin the trousers-seat, as he also has two catapults in his drawer. He is back at Blandings during " Service With a Smile", and is given a cameraby his grandfather to keep him occupied; he puts it to cruel use, however, as a result of his strange friendship with the generally unpopular Duke of Dunstable.
Lord Bosham's eldest son.
Hon. Lancelot Threepwood
Lord Emsworth's deceased brother, about whom little is known.
Lord Emsworth's niece Millicent is a tall, fair girl with soft blue eyes and a soulful face, who radiates wholesome innocence. Though encouraged to marry Ronnie Fish by her Aunt Constance, she prefers Hugo Carmody, although she is jealous of his friendship with Sue Brown. She has learnt that a direct approach can disconcert her aunts, believing that attack is the best form of defense.
Niagara "Aggie" Threepwood
Nee Donaldson, daughter of the Donaldson of "Donaldson's Dog-biscuits" fame, Aggie got her name thanks to her parents having spent their
honeymoonat the Falls. A "sort of cousin" of Angus McAllister, Aggie is first seen through a telescope, kissing Freddie Threepwoodin a small spinney down by the water-meadows in the short " The Custody of the Pumpkin"; they later elope together, assisted by her father. An extremely pretty girl, her father-in-law Lord Emsworthcan never understand why such a charming young thing would want anything to do with Freddie, but is overjoyed that he has married a girl with a rich father. She and Freddie fall out briefly over his suspected dalliance with a movie-star, but are soon reunited.
George Alexander Pyke, Lord Tilbury
The Timber Wolf
See George Spenlow above.
A much-married American millionaire, Trout visits the castle in "
A Pelican at Blandings", after the Duke of Dunstable snaps up a painting Trout thinks reminds him of his third wife Genevieve. Red-headed Trout played American Footballin his youth, and has a prominent broken nose to show for it. He inherited his millions from his father, who was a big business man out in California.
During his days as New York's foremost playboy, Trout was engaged to Vanessa Polk, but let her get away, and since then married widely but not wisely, mostly selecting blondes of limited intellect, with names including Luella and Marlene. His third wife, who he still feels pangs for, called roses 'woses' and left him for a trumpeter in a minor band. Despite his lingering love for her, he resents being forced to pay over the odds for the painting, and eventually realises how much more suitable a partner Vanessa would be.
Housekeeper at the Castle, Mrs Twemlow is a full-figured woman, who believes in the cheering power of a nice slice of buttered
toastin times of stress. She usually finds time to do a little knittingin the afternoons, and likes to listen to the gramophone to relax after a busy day's housekeeping. As dignified as Beach himself, she holds a similarly lofty position in below-stairs society.
"Uncle" Fred Twistleton
Frequent saviour of
Lord Emsworthin times of peril.
Uncle Fred's nephew.
A spirited young girl, niece of
Uncle Fred, Valerie appears in " Uncle Fred in the Springtime", when she is engaged to Horace Pendlebury-Davenport, although she disapproves of his dancing style, and his having a detective (Claude "Mustard" Pott">"Mustard" Pott) follow her to the Drones Clubweekend at Le Touquet. She has a quick temper, and eventually visits Blandings to get revenge on her uncle for worrying her Horace.
Gerald Anstruther Vail
A struggling writer of thrillers, Mr Vail is a former admirer of Gloria Salt who is secretly engaged to Penelope Donaldson in "
Pigs Have Wings" (they met on a boat coming over from America, whither Vail had gone in an attempt to sell some stories). Vail, like his old pal Orlo "Wasp" Vosper, is an Old Harrovian; he hopes to buy a share in a health farm, which will enable him to marry his girl, and takes a job as secretary to Lord Emsworthfor a spell. He is nephew of "Plug" Basham">"Plug" Basham, and has known Admiral "Fruity" Biffen">Admiral Biffen for years, and hence has been warned about Gally.
The heroine of "
Something Fresh", Miss Valentine is a tall girl with gold hair and blue eyes, who went to school with Aline Peters and later lived in Pariswith her father, who died and left her penniless.
Before becoming editor of "Home Gossip", an organ of the Mammoth Publishing Company, she worked at many things, including spells in a shop, doing typewriting, on the stage (it was in this era, during a run of "The Baby Doll" at the Piccadilly, that a young
Freddie Threepwoodwas so smitten by her that he bombarded her with juicy letters and poetry), as a governess, and as a lady's maid (during which time she picked up plenty of useful knowledge of life both below and above stairs).
A plucky, highly capable and unflappable young lady, she is relied on by her friend Aline and never lets her down, even when called upon to commit
larceny. She likes to win through on her own merit and not rely on the chivalry of others, but eventually realises the merits of chivalrous Ashe Marson.
In "Something New", the U.S. version of the book, Miss Valentine is an American, born in
Orlo, Lord Vosper
A handsome nobleman who looks like a matinee-star, Lord Vosper is an Old Harrovian who pays a visit to the castle in "
Pigs Have Wings". A tall, superbly-built chap with a dark, Byronic beauty. Connie hopes he'll hit it off with Penelope Donaldson, although Lord Emsworththinks him unsound on pigs (he yawned on being shown the Empress). He was at school with Jerry Vail, who knew him by the nickname "Wasp", and later was romantically involved with Vail's friend Gloria Salt. He plays the piano, and has a pleasant baritone singing-voice.
chauffeurat the castle, who first appears in " Summer Lightning". His large red ears are always alert for useful gossip being spilt in the back of his car. He owns a motorcycle, which he lends to Percy Pilbeam in "Heavy Weather".
Lady Ann Warblington
Lord Emsworth's sister who lives at Blandingsas " chatelaine" for a time after the death of his wife. She has a seemingly inexhaustible correspondence, and spends much of her time in her room writing letters, when she is not nursing a sick headache. She has a Persian cat named Muriel and a maid called Chester.
She appears in "
Something Fresh", but by the time of " Leave it to Psmith" has been replaced as chatelaine by her sister Connie.
tenorwith whom Gertrude Alcester becomes infatuated in " The Go-getter", Watkins is a rather weedy man, with ill-fitting clothes, awful ties and short, but distinct, side-whiskers. He is invited to Blandings by Art-loving Lady Constance, but soon upsets Connie's sister Georgiana by working his warbling glamour on her daughter Gertrude, despite his only income coming from an occasional engagement with the BBC. He has a dislike and fear of all dogs, a horror of rats, and isn't a fan of bats either.
Lady Hermione Wedge
Lord Emsworth's short and fat sister, who resembles a cook, albeit a passionate one. The wife of Colonel Egbert and mother of Veronica, Hermione has all her sisters' fear of one of the family marrying beneath them, and is incensed when Bill Lister, unsuitable suitor of her niece Prudence, mistakes her, as so many do, for a cook, in "Full Moon".
When we meet her again in "
Galahad at Blandings", she is for a spell acting as chatelaine at the castle, in the absence of her sister Connie, but gives it up in the face of her brother's impossible ways; we learn that once, as a child, she struck Galahad over the head with her doll, laying him out cold.
Colonel Egbert Wedge
Lady Hermione's husband, a soldierly sort of man who finds his brother-in-law
Lord Emsworth's scattiness rather troubling, but has a secret admiration for Galahad. A highly practical man, he is quick to action, as when spotting a potential burglar entering the castle, he fetches his revolver and tracks the fiend himself rather than waiting for the footmen; he also has a romantic side, and approves of Bill Lister's pluck in his wooing of Prudence.
A former member of the Shropshire Light Infantry, Egbert has a
godmotherliving in Worcestershire, whose birthday he never fails to attend.
The daughter of Lady Hermione and Colonel Wedge is a spectacularly attractive girl, a fact which never ceases to amaze her doting father and attracts scrums of fashionable photographers whenever she appears in public. She has a direct way about her, and invariably follows her parents' instructions to the letter, even when it comes to falling in love. Her extreme beauty is matched by her extreme simplicity of mind, a fact which does not put off Tipton Plimsoll when he meets her shortly before her twenty-third birthday, in "Full Moon". Veronica was once engaged to her cousin
Freddie Threepwood, which causes Plimsoll much jealous ire. She has a love of jewellery, which Plimsoll goes out of his way to satisfy, and despite some misguided efforts by her mother to split them up, she ends up eloping with her man to a registry office, at the climax of " Galahad at Blandings".
George Cyril Wellbeloved
Wellbeloved is Emsworth's first pig man, who we first meet off-screen, when his unfortunate imprisonment (fourteen days for being drunk and disorderly in the tap-room of the "Goat and Feathers"), leaves his charge the
Empress of Blandingsoff her food, in the short " Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey".
A tall, red-headed man with a pronounced squint, his drinking tendencies fail to scupper the Empress' bid for victory in the Fat Pigs competition at the 87th
ShropshireAgricultural Show. He later proves treacherous, abandoning the Empress to work for Parsloe-Parsloe by the time of " Company for Gertrude". He is replaced by the capable Pirbright, and his behaviour is much criticised (though less so than that of his new master) in " Summer Lightning" and "Heavy Weather".
His affairs are central to "
Pigs Have Wings", when Parsloe bans him from touching the beer of which he is so fond, to keep him vigilant in protecting the new pig Queen of Matchingham. He becomes involved in the complex shenanigans concerning the theft of both the Queen and the Empress, and we learn that he was for a time a friend and drinking-partner of Admiral George J. "Fruity" Biffen">Admiral Biffen.
He returns to Blandings for a spell in "
Service With a Smile", by which time he has acquired a broken nose during a political debate outside the "Goose and Gander", a result of his support of communism. He betrays his master once more, accepting a bribe to help steal the Empress, and is given the push once and for all. In " Galahad at Blandings", we learn he has inherited a pubin Wolverhampton, and he returns briefly to the castle on visitors day, worrying his former master with his dire diagnosis of the Empress' condition.
A barmaid at the Emsworth Arms, Marlene is niece to George, the pig man, whose lightning wit she finds a constant pleasure, particularly his nickname for Beach ("Old Fatty"). She has a particularly piercing scream.
The author of
Lord Emsworth's favourite book, "The Care of the Pig". The writings of Mr. Whiffle (also known as Whipple) exert a soothing influence on his Lordship in times of stress, especially in " The Crime Wave at Blandings", during the momentous events of which the Earl frequently requires Whiffle's soothing balm on his stretched nerves.
Galahad at Blandings" (in which the name is Whipple once more), we learn that the great pig-expert is known to Gally, who spoke to him while writing his memoirs to get details of Mr Whipple's grandfather, who grew a second set of teeth at the age of eighty, and used them to crack Brazil nuts (he died at the age of eighty-two, from a surfeit of Brazil nuts). An elderly man with a thin, reedy voice, Mr Whipple is a member of the Athenaeumclub (where he once met Colonel Egbert Wedge), and is so impressed by what he hears of the Empress of Blandingsthat he hopes to visit and see the mighty pig; thanks to Gally, however, he is put off and replaced with Sam Bagshott, but causes trouble by installing himself at the Emsworth Arms, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Empress.
Dame Daphne Winkworth
Dame Daphne is headmistress of a girls' school in
Eastbournewho visits the Castle in " Galahad at Blandings".
Son of Dame Daphne, Huxley is an unpleasant young lad, always out to get others into trouble, who while visiting Blandings in "
Galahad at Blandings", takes it into his head that the Empress is overweight and needs exercise. A single-minded youth, he persists in his quest diligently, until, when he finally finds himself alone with the pig, she bites him firmly on the finger.
Wooster, a keen player of
billiards, is Percy, Lord Stockheath's cousin, which suggests that Bertie Woostermay be a distant relative of the Threepwoods.
A friend of Niagara "Aggie" Threepwood">Aggie Threepwood, Jane lacks her friend's physical beauty, being too short, too square and too solid to be attractive, with too determined a chin and hair of a nasty gingery hue. She has a brother, who she always hoped Aggie would marry, and having seemingly lost her to Freddie, she tries to upset the marriage by reporting on his visits to restaurants with movie stars. Though her scheme sees some initial success, it is eventually scuppered, and she and Aggie fall out, in the short "
Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best".
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