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Subject: Re: P. G. Woodhouse ( 3 of 5 )
Posted by Douglas Adams

His name is spelled 'Wodehouse'.

As far as 'heated political debates' are concerned, there really is no issue. Wodehouse was not a political man. The closest he ever came to writing anything about political issues was in The Code of the Woosters in which he lampooned a character who was obviously based on the British Fascist demagogue Oswald Mosley. But only for comic effect.

The broadcasts he made from Berlin were ill-advised, and in his extreme innocence he allowed himself to be taken advantage of, but the idea that they were Nazi progaganda is complete nonsense put about by those who wished to make political capital out of it for their own ends, and perpetuated by those who don't know the facts.

Anybody who is interested in knowing the facts could do no better than to read the book Wodehouse at War by Iain Sproat. It's a fascinating insight into the man himself, and a devastating account of the way public opinion was twisted - and stayed twisted - by a combination of malice and incompetence.

Those of us who revere him sometimes wish he had done more to exonerate himself publicly. But the experience of most people who have found themselves unjustly traduced in the press is that the more you fight, the worse it gets. Right and wrong have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Wodehouse was infinitely more sinned against than sinning, but he understandably took the view that once he was in a hole he had better stop digging, retreated from the fray and went back to work. He was not a politician in any sense of the word, but he was the greatest comic writer who ever lived. He decided to stick to what he was good at.

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