By Joe Skirkowski
Best-selling author Ben Schott will be giving a talk on his new book at Dulwich College tomorrow.
Schott’s novel, ‘Jeeves and the King of Clubs’ is based on the works of famous humorist and Dulwich College alumni, P G Wodehouse.
Wodehouse, who died in 1975, is widely regarded as one of the 20th centuries greatest comedy writers. He is credited with a bibliography of over 90 books, 40 plays and over 200 short stories. During his teenage years he was a student at Dulwich College and many of his later works were based on his experiences at public school. Wodehouse’s most famous characters are undeniably Jeeves and Wooster, an unconventional master and butler double act who have been further immortalised through TV shows and now again through Schott’s book.
The later half of Wodehouse’s career was marred by controversy. Having moved to France in 1939, he was taken prisoner by the invading German army in 1940. After a year in captivity, Wodehouse was released and made a number of politically neutral radio broadcasts aimed at the then neutral USA. Wodehouse was then allowed to continue working freely within German-occupied territory until the end of the war. This led some to accuse the writer of collaboration, a claim that was never properly confirmed or denied.
Schott has chosen Dulwich College for the venue of his talk on the 26th of February because of the important role the school played in Wodehouse’s life even after he graduated.
Ben Schott made his name as a photographer between 1996 and 2003. He worked for a number of British newspapers and specialised in portraits of celebrities and politicians. He is well known for a number of pieces on politicians of the new labour government, including John Prescott and Tony Blair.
Schott reached new fame in 2002 when he became the author of a best-selling book almost by accident. He had made a book containing lists of what he considered to be vital but hard-to-find information for his friends but on a whim had sent one to the CEO of Bloomsbury who decided to publish it.
‘Schott’s original Miscellanies’ was published in 2002 with little fanfair. However, one day Schott found his book on the cover of the Guardian’s G2 editorial being called the “publishing sensation of the year”. From there Schott went from strength to strength and at one time had two books in the New York Times top 10. He has now turned his Miscellanies into a trilogy that has sold over two million copies and has written several other top sellers.