Jen Scheppers takes top spot in literary society

While people might not know P.G. Wodehouse’s name, anyone who ever watched Jeeves and Wooster will likely be familiar with his work. One person who is definitely familiar is University of Bath administrative assistant Jennifer Scheppers (pictured left) who has just been elected as the President of the International Wodehouse Association.

The association is a collaboration between a number of other P.G. Wodehouse societies, full title Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, aimed at collaborating on international projects relating to the author’s many works. Jennifer’s role as incoming President of the International Wodehouse Association will be to lead work on an ambitious new project to help introduce the joys of Wodehouse to a new generation of readers. Jen has taken the role on a volunteer basis alongside her job here at the University. She also hopes to hold some Wodehouse events here in the South West since the author spent some of his formative years here in Bath.

Jennifer has been blogging about P.G. Wodehouse in her spare time for around six years after discovering one of his paperback books in her native Australia 20 years ago. You can read some of her work here. Since beginning her blogging Jennifer has had articles published by Wodehouse societies across the world and spoke at the 2015 Wodehouse convention in Seattle. Her talk focused on what the modern Woodhouse reader might look like in an effort to dispel the myth that only ‘cashed up retirees’ read his work.

When pushed on what to recommend, Jennifer answered with a quote from Jeeves and Wooster saying “It would depend on the psychology of the individual.’’ However, she did recommend that any staff or students looking to get into Wodehouse should pick up one of his short story collections saying “I read them on my commute in the morning and it makes such a difference to your day.” According to Jennifer, P.G. Wodehouse is a great alternative read for fans of Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett.

Many consider Wodehouse to be a master of the comic short story and Jennifer hails his ability to make readers laugh as a lifeline to a lot of people.

“For me Wodehouse is transformative.” says Jen, “If you’re having a rough time, if you’ve had a bereavement or you’re sick he will just lift you up. For me it’s about my commute from Oldfield Park, I’m just lifted by his work and it’s a great way to start the day. There are plenty other methods of escapism that aren’t so good for you but I can’t say enough about Wodehouse.”

Anyone familiar with or new to P.G. Wodehouse’s works should consider joining the UK society by visiting www.pgwodehousesociety.org.uk.

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