In our discussions about My Man Jeeves, those of us who have read more of Wodehouse have often talked about the changes in his Jeeves’ stories as “Plum” refined his style and sharpened his characterizations. As Seth has mentioned, it’s probably in the Jeeves’ novels from the 1930’s that Wodehouse best demonstrates his his mastery of the comedic world inhabited by Bertie, Jeeves, and supporting cast.
I’ve been trying to find a way to illustrate some of these developments short of reading an entire novel. I think that the opening two chapters of Right Ho, Jeeves (1934), which lay the groundwork for the rest of the book, give a good sample of Wodehouse’s mature style – his increasingly supple humor, his more rounded sense of character, and the inimitable gracefulness with which he introduces and develops the building blocks of his plots. You’ll note also that Plum slips in a fleeting picture of “Bertie as (self-conscious) writer” (for the post-modern critics among us).
The two chapters run 12 pages.