Blog-a-Book: A ’Masculine Fantasy?’
|by Kim Moreland|
My summer reading has taken a few twists and turns. Besides getting distracted by reading Crime & Punishment, The Reagan Diaries, and an assortment of other small readings, I did set out, at the beginning of summer, to write several blogs about Jeeves in the Offing. Alas, I woke up the other day realizing that I’d gulped instead of savored the novel, making nary a note about either its cleverly worded sentences or hilarious scenes to continue my efforts to help garner a few more Wodehouse fans. Don't worry though, I promise to reread sections so I can post another review.
Before I do, I ran across an old article I had read before in the New Criterion article by another Wodehouse fan, Roger Kimball, titled "The Genius of Wodehouse." In his article, Kimball mentions Wodehouse’s authorized biographer and family friend, Frances Donaldson, who says that only one in ten Wodehouse fans are women. Shock! Gasp! Choke! Donaldson said Wodehouse’s Bertie and Jeeves books are “masculine fantasy,” which “women as a whole” don’t care to read.
I know I started reading these novels in the '70s, and most of the people I know who are Wodehouse fans are also women. Here’s my question: what, if anything, changed over the years that make Wodehouse’s “masculine” novels palatable to women?