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Literature / Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

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Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit is a 1957 novel by P. G. Wodehouse.

It is a Jeeves and Wooster story. When Bertie's sometimes fiancée Florence Craye expresses admiration for Bertie's new mustache, Bertie attracts the violent jealousy of Florence's current fiancé, G. D'Arcy "Stilton" Cheesewright. The large and intimidating Cheesewright longs to pulverize Bertie, but can't, because he has drawn Bertie's name in the upcoming Drones Club dart contest, and will lose a large sum if Bertie is injured.

Meanwhile, as so often happens, Bertie has been summoned to Brinkley Court, his Aunt Dahlia's estate. Aunt Dahlia is trying to unload her money-losing magazine, Milady's Boudoir, and is trying to coax wealthy businessman L.G. Trotter into buying it. Bertie is summoned to cheer up Trotter's stepson Percy Gorringe, who is moping around because he has been rejected by Florence Craye. Also at Brinkley Court is Stilton Cheesewright, who has broken up with Florence, blames Bertie for it, and is bent on revenge.

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Tropes:

  • Bathos: Percy writes a florid poem describing a sunset that ends with "I say / Doesn't that sunset remind you / Of a slice / Of underdone roast beef?" (Percy is mocking Stilton Cheesewright, whom he believes just the meathead who would say such a thing.)
  • The Butler Did It: When Bertie finds out that Percy is the author of the murder mystery he's reading, he asks him who's the killer, and Percy answers that it's the butler.
  • Buxom Is Better: Bertie describes the gorgeous Daphne Dolores Moorehead as having "more curves than a scenic railway".
  • Celibate Hero: Bertie winds up climbing into Florence Craye's room at night by mistake (It Makes Sense in Context). Florence, in her bedclothes, demands that Bertie kiss her. He does, but then says "the whole thing seemed to me to be becoming far too French."
  • Continuity Nod:
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    • When Roderick Spode is mentioned Bertie recalls how he got the better of Spode by blackmailing Spode over his secret job—head designer for the "Eulalie Soeurs" lingerie firm. He tries it again but is thwarted when Spode, who has inherited an uncle's title and is now Lord Sidcup, reveals that he sold the Eulalie Soeurs firm.
    • The cosh that Jeeves uses at a pivotal moment in The Mating Season is still in his possession in this novel, and is again used to whack someone on the head and knock them out.
    • Jeeves notes that Brinkley Court doesn't have bars on the windows anymore, and Aunt Dahlia says that she had them removed "after that time when we were all locked out". This happened at the end of Right Ho, Jeeves.
  • Dedication: The novel opens with an extended one to Wodehouse's editor Peter Schwed, which is also a snarky commentary on the various types of dedications.
  • Embarrassing First Name / Embarrassing Middle Name: Bertie is appalled to find out that L.G. Trotter's given names are Lemuel and Gungulphus.
  • Genre Savvy: Bertie gets engaged to Florence Craye again. However, he's not too worried about it, because he observed that he always manages to avoid getting married.
  • Hey, You!: Bertie is offended on Jeeves's behalf when Mrs. Trotter addresses Jeeves as "Hey, you!"
  • Market-Based Title: In the US the book has been sold under the title Bertie Wooster Sees It Through, and in Canada as Double Jeopardy.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Daphne Dolores Moorehead the gorgeous young author of popular thrillers is an obvious spin on one of P.G. Wodehouse's acquaintances, Daphne Du Maurier.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe. Percy Gorringe, who has notions of a highbrow literary career and is working on a play with Florence, is humiliated to admit that he writes pulp fiction murder mysteries under the name of "Rex West". (Bertie is reading a Rex West novel throughout this story and is very excited to meet the author.)
  • Smoky Gentlemen's Club: The Drones Club is critical to the action in this one, as Bertie is competing in the annual darts competition and Stilton, who has drawn Bertie's name, can't murder him for that reason.
  • Your Other Left: Aunt Agatha tells Bertie to steal the necklace from her room, which is the last room on the left. Unfortunately Agatha was thinking "left" from the perspective of looking out from the mansion while Bertie was thinking of "left" from the perspective of looking at the mansion from outside. So he winds up accidentally climbing into Florence Craye's bedroom.
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