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A romantic comedy, replete with twists and turns, A Damsel In Distress was initially serialized in the Saturday Evening Post. The story revolves around George Bevan, a successful composer of musical comedies, and Lady Maud Marshmoreton, the damsel in distress.
George chances upon the only daughter of the Earl of Marshmoreton when she takes refuge in his cab in London. She has barely managed to escape from her house to meet her American lover. Completely smitten by her and moved by her plight, George offers to help her out. But she disappears, and George somehow succeeds in identifying her and her location. He rents a house next to the Marshmoreton castle, and then the comedy unfolds.
Confusion and chaos lead the family to believe that George is the man in Lady Maud's life. This confusion leads George to believe that Lady Maud is in love with him. To confuse things further, we have Lady Caroline Byng, the Earl's sister, who wants to marry off Maud to her step son, Reggie, who in turn is in love with the Earl's secretary.
Wodehouse is known for his quintessential depiction of the life of the English people of his times, particularly the upper classes, and A Damsel In Distress is no different. We get to see lively, colourful, perfectly depicted, English characters, with their typical use of language and mannerisms.
In 1937, a musical based on this novel was released with screenplay by P. G. Wodehouse.
About P. G. Wodehouse
Born in 1881, in Guildford, Surrey, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse is one of the most prominent and widely read English humorists.
The Jeeves and Wooster novels and the Blandings Castle series were the most popular books of the author. Some of the books written by him include The Inimitable Jeeves, Carry On, Jeeves, Very Good, Jeeves!, The Bring on the Girls!, A Pelican at Blandings, Ice in the Bedroom, Full Moon, Something Fresh and The Girl in Blue.
He spent a part of his childhood in Hong Kong. When his family came back to England, the young Pelham spent most of his childhood years in a boarding school. He could not follow his dreams of studying in a university because of financial restraints. Wodehouse began his career as a banker, but soon gave it up to become a successful columnist. His first novel, The Pothunters, was published in the year 1902. By the 1930s, he had become the most prominent English writer of this genre. Wodehouse was best known for his novels and short stories, but he was also a lyricist and playwright. He wrote 15 plays, and the lyrics (250) for musical comedies. Wodehouse was married to Ethel Wayman, a twice-widowed American actress and dancer. After marriage, he adopted her daughter.