Thursday, October 16, 2014

What happened at the dog races?!

One of the great intriguing mysteries of literature in the English-speaking world is what actually happened when Lord Ickenham and his nephew, Pongo Twistleton, went to the dog races. This notable event is referred to several times in describing the fun-loving nature of Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, Fifth Earl of Ickenham (which penchant for fun always gives Pongo a headache at the very mention of it). Perhaps most Wodehouse lovers have just assumed that that story was told in a book they have not read yet.

We do know that at the dog races, Uncle Fred and Pongo were in the hands of the constable within ten minutes. Ickenham gives his name to the court as George Robinson of East Dulwich, and so the family crest is not smudged. The bottom line is that we never get more than a hint of The Mystery of the Dog Races. In his book, Plum Sauce, Richard Usborne tells us that Sir Pelham Wodehouse died without ever having told us the whole story about the dog races.


No comments: