Within the world of Wodehouse, Rupert Psmith (the P is silent, like the tomb) has always been my favorite character. Although Psmith is an adolescent, he is actually Wodehouse’s first adult character. With Psmith Wodehouse moved from the boy’s stories he had been writing into the adult comedies we now know and love such as Jeeves & Wooster and the Blandings stories. But Psmith was the first, and in my mind the best of his creations. Unlike Bertie Wooster and the Blandings crowd, Psmith is in no way a bumbler. He is very astute and sure of himself, and with good reason, since he is more clever and sly than anyone else around him. Psmith is such a forceful character that he starts as a sidekick to his school chum Mike, who is actually the main character in the first novel, which is really a boys story centered on cricket at the fictional public school of Wrykyn. Mike is quickly shunted to the wings (which in Wodehouse means he gets engaged and then married) in the successive stories until in the last, Leave it to Psmith, he makes only a cameo appearance for old times sake. With his immaculate wardrobe, his monocle, his money, his clubs and his mode of addressing everyone as “Comrade” coupled with his machine gun delivery of witty dialog, I find Psmith impossible to resist. Many name Leave it to Psmith as their favorite Psmith novel, but it is my least favorite book. In it Psmith has been stripped of everything that made him Psmith. Without his riches, which allow him to do as he pleases, Psmith loses some of his allure. Psmith, like Bertie, is not funny as a poor man. Although Psmith only appears in four novels, the last being a Blandings novel, he does seem to reappear later in the form of Uncle Fred, who for all intents and purposes is a grown up Psmith.