Jeeves

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Reginald Jeeves is a fictional character in the short stories and novels of P. G. Wodehouse, being the "gentleman's personal gentleman" (valet) of Bertie Wooster (Bertram Wilberforce Wooster). Created in 1915, Jeeves would continue to appear in Wodehouse's works until his final, completed, novel Aunts Aren't Gentlemen in 1974, making him Wodehouse's most famous character. The name "Jeeves" comes from Percy Jeeves, a Warwickshire cricketer killed in the First World War.[1] Both the name "Jeeves" and the character of Jeeves have come to be thought of as the quintessential name and nature of a valet, butler, or chauffeur, inspiring many similar characters (as well as the name of the Internet search engine Ask Jeeves). A "Jeeves" is now a generic term in references such as the Oxford English Dictionary.[2]

Jeeves is a valet, not a butler - that is, he serves a man and not a household. However, Bertie Wooster has lent out Jeeves as a butler on several occasions, and notes: "If the call comes, he can buttle with the best of them."[3]

Contents

Character

The concept of the Jeeves stories is that the brilliant valet is firmly in control of his rich and foppish young employer's life. Much of the comic effect derives from the fact that the clueless Bertie Wooster, who narrates most stories, remains for the most part blissfully unaware of how he is being manipulated. When Bertie gets into an unwanted social obligation, legal trouble, or engagement to marry, Jeeves invariably comes up with a subtle plan to save him, often without Bertie's knowledge.

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