How many characters, even real ones, have the singular honour of having a search engine named after them? His name appears in the Oxford English Dictionary as a generic word for a valet/butler. Yeah, I know you’ve got it. Not much of a guess, is it? There really is just one Reginald Jeeves – but he’d much rather you just call him Jeeves.
He is the supercilious uber valet, (but he can also buttle with the best) to the rather bird brained Bertie Wooster – both creations of the British humourist PG Wodehouse.
Where he came from
The character is based on a real life butler Eugene Robinson who actually helped Wodehouse out of trouble, once. Wodehouse employed him for research purposes. Most of you might know the name came from that of a popular Warwickshire cricketer Percy Jeeves. He and Wooster made their first proper appearance in 1916 in The Artistic Career of Corky.
Did you know?
- Jeeves’s first name was not revealed for 56 years till the penultimate novel in the series, Much Obliged, Jeeves. Bertie was apparently stunned to realize that Jeeves actually had a first name at all! But then that’s just so Bertie.
- Jeeves is a fish eater, which is what makes him so brainy, or so he says.
- Jeeves started off working at a girls’ school. He worked for over a dozen others before he and Wooster found each other.
- He has three aunts and an uncle and also a niece Mabel.
- He quotes from authors and poets like Shakespeare and Dostoevsky. He’s not above showing off his Latin too.
I love him because
– Of his oh-so-propah British ways
– He knows everything, everything. He cooks, cleans, sews, irons, mixes cocktails, makes the best antidote to hangover And he also knows all about horses, cars and women. He is bloody darned perfect at his job.
– He’s impeccably dressed, always!
– He is always in control and never forgets his manners. I mean never.
– He has a solution to the trickiest problem from avoiding an aunt to nipping a love-affair.
– He is a man of unshakeable principles. He once quit Bertie’s employment because Bertie wouldn’t give up playing the banjolele (an instrument which is a mixture of a banjo and a ukulele).
I wish he were mine.
(I do wonder if he would have survived in a household with a chaotic pair of twins. Just wondering…..)
Linking up to ABC Wednesday the weekly alphabetical challenge where I get to reminisce about my favourite characters from books. Do drop by and take a look at what others have come up with for the letter R.