Jeeves And The Wedding Bells: Sebastian Faulks to pen PG Wodehouse novel

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Best-selling writer Sebastian Faulks is to breathe new life into much-loved characters Jeeves and Wooster after being approached by the estate of PG Wodehouse.

Faulks, whose acclaimed works include Birdsong and A Week In December, has had a lengthy love of the duo after first reading a story at the age of 12.

Jeeves And The Wedding Bells is to be published in November by Hutchinson, which issued all of Wodehouse's later novels.

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Faulks, 59, famously gave his own take on an established character when he was commissioned to write a James Bond novel, Devil May Care.

Wodehouse, who died in 1975 at the age of 93, has been loved by generations and is seen as one of the great humorists of the 20th century.

He wrote more than ninety novels and in excess of 300 short stories during a literary career spanning more than 70 years, which also saw him work on plays and musicals such as Anything Goes.

Publishers of the new book said it will be "faithful to the history and personality of Wodehouse's characters but by shining a different light on them will also show how robust, durable and lovable these creations are".

Faulks said: "I read my first Jeeves story when I was twelve and it is an honour to be asked by PG Wodehouse's family to work with these greatly-loved characters.

"Wodehouse is inimitable but I will do the very best I can, with respect and with gratitude for all the pleasure the books have given, but also with a light heart. I hope my story will ring bells with aficionados but also bring new readers to these wonderful books."

The characters of Jeeves and Wooster - a butler and his foppish, upper-crust employer - were brought to life in the early 1990s for a TV series by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

The Wodehouse Estate said today: "In his acclaimed 2011 book, Faulks on Fiction, Sebastian Faulks wrote 'If I were to be quite honest, I suppose I would have to admit that this [a scene from The Mating Season] is probably my favourite scene in the whole canon of English literature'.

"We are thrilled that so skilful and stylish a novelist, and so perceptive and discerning a reader, has agreed to bring to life the immortal characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster for the enjoyment of today's audience in a homage to PG Wodehouse."

Jeeves And The Wedding Bells will be published in hardback on 6 November.

PA

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