The letter, written in 1948, is taken from a new anthology of Wodehouse’s letters, P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters, edited by Sophie Ratcliffe ($35, WW Norton, published February 4th 2013).
May 19. 1948
2 East 86 St
Dear Mr. Durrell.
Thank you so much for your letter. […]
Yes, Jeeves certainly came quite by accident. His first appearance was in a Bertie Wooster story called ‘Disentangling Old Duggie’ and all he did was to appear in the doorway and announce ‘Mrs Travers, sir’. It never occurred to me at the time that he would ever do anything except appear at doors and announce people. Then – I don’t think it was the next Bertie story but the one after that – I had got Bertie’s friend into a bad tangle of some sort and I saw how to solve the problem but my artistic soul revolted at the idea of having Bertie suggest the solution.
In case you missed the link above, the full letter can be read here.
- Artist L.C. Armstrong ‘influenced by Lawrence Durrell’ (whitemetropolis.wordpress.com)