P. G. WODEHOUSE AND GERALD FAIRLIE
The following five lots are from the library of the bestselling author Gerald Fairlie (1899-1983), who was a friend and regular correspondent of P.G. Wodehouse in the post-war years. Fairlie is best-known for the seven novels he wrote featuring 'Bulldog Drummond' following the death of the character's creator, H.C. 'Sapper' McNeile, but he was also a successful scriptwriter, numbering Brown on Resolution (starring a young John Mills) and Charlie Chan in Shanghai among his many screenplays. He first met Wodehouse in Hollywood in 1931 when both men were working as film writers.
His correspondence with Wodehouse is largely concerned with the eccentricities and inadequacies of magazine editors. The last letter which Wodehouse wrote to 'Joe', as he invariably addressed Fairlie, was written in response to a letter of congratulation from the latter for Wodehouse's recent knighthood. The letter ends: "When not being interviewed, I am re-reading my Fairlie. Great stuff!" (15th January 1975). In a letter to William Townend dated 10th October 1932, Wodehouse was rather less charitable about McNeile's work: "His success just shows that what is needed is an absolute lack of shame and self-criticism. His work is the pure magazine story." (Donaldson, p.187)
WODEHOUSE, P. G. William Tell Told Again. London: A. & C. Black, Ltd., [n.d.]. 8°. Coloured frontispiece and 17 plates by Philip Dadd (text spotted and lightly browned). Original pictorial cloth (joints split and frayed, corners rubbed, some light staining to lower cover, lacking the dust-jacket). SIGNED "P G WODEHOUSE." Provenance: William Michael Hugh Carey Morgan (armorial bookplate); presentation slip to William from Scott pasted in and dated 1934. McIlvaine A5(5).