A Gentleman of Leisure

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Author: Pelham Grenville "P G" Wodehouse (1881-1975)

Year: 1921

Publisher: Herbert Jenkins Ltd

Place: London


256 pages. Small octavo (7 1/2" x 5") bound in original publisher's apple green cloth lettered in black, heavy black border and lettering upper board in original publisher's later jacket. (McIlvaine: A13b.3)  First edition. Third issue.

McIlvaine A13b.3 which is stated to be third issue, 1921 but the latest in eight titles listed is The Girl on the Boat (June 1922) and The clicking of Cuthbert (February 1922), does not mention Ukridge which is one of the points of A13b.4. Jacket circa 1940 with Eggs, Beans and Crumpets listed on the back flap (green 5' net price label on spine).

A Gentleman of Leisure, a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, with the basic plot first appearing in a novella, The Gem Collector, in the December 1909 issue of Ainslee's Magazine. It was substantially revised and expanded for publication as a book under the title The Intrusion of Jimmy, by W J Watt and Company, New York, on 11 May 1910. It was serialized under that title in the British weekly magazine Tit-Bits between 11 June and 10 September, before being published as A Gentleman of Leisure by Alston Rivers Ltd, London, on 15 November 1910. There are minor textual differences between the American and British editions of the book. A Gentleman of Leisure was adapted for the stage in 1911 and has twice been filmed, in 1915 and 1923. In 1911, Wodehouse and playwright John Stapleton collaborated in adapting A Gentleman of Leisure as a stage play. Starring Douglas Fairbanks and Ruth Shepley as Jimmy and Molly, the play opened on 24 August 1911 at New York's Playhouse Theater. The play was revived at McVicker's Theater in Chicago on 30 March 1913 under the title A Thief for a Night with John Barrymore and Alice Brady in the lead roles. When the UK edition of A Gentleman of Leisure was reissued in March 1921, Wodehouse replaced an earlier dedication with one to Douglas Fairbanks "who many years ago played 'Jimmy' in the dramatized version of this novel" which this edition has.

The action begins with bachelor Jimmy Pitt in New York; having fallen in love on a transatlantic liner, he befriends a small-time burglar and breaks into a police captain's house as a result of a bet. The cast of characters head to England, and from there on it is a typically Wodehousean romantic story, set at the stately Dreever Castle, overflowing with impostors, detectives, crooks, scheming lovers and conniving aunts.


Slightly cocked, several smalls tears at rear joint, spine and edges slightly browned, moderately soiled, circular stain on front board, light wear to corners and spine ends; offsetting and foxing to end-papers, scattered light to moderate spotting to text, small chipping and creasing at bottom edges of several leaves at front. Jacket head of spine reinforced on verso with cellotape, small chipping at corners and foot of spine, lightly soiled else good to very good in a very good jacket.

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