The Retirement of A.J. Wentworth
The second of the humorous fictional memoirs of a hapless schoolmaster.
A. J. Wentworth, formerly teacher of mathematics at Burgrove prep school for boys, now passes his retirement years in a typically English rural village where somehow he seems unable to stay out of trouble.
Wentworth lurches from mishap to misunderstanding, whether at the Conservative Association or the local dramatic society, the cricket club dinner or the vicarage Christmas Party. His pièce de résistance proves to be the escorting of two schoolboys on a trip to Switzerland that unexpectedly detours into Italy.
A comic study in blinkered English manners, the Wentworth Papers will delight fans of P.G. Wodehouse or Grossmiths’ Mr Pooter. First introduced to readers in the pages of Punch magazine, it was later dramatized for both BBC Radio and ITV drama.
‘A splendid comic hero … cannot fail to engage the sympathy of everyone who has ever sat in a classroom either as master or pupil … Few books have made me laugh out loud quite so often.’ Evening Standard
‘I was often helpless with laughter. Not a book to be read in public.’ The Oldie
‘A truly comic invention.’ The Guardian
‘Masterly caricature.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Wentworth turns out to be the hero of a work certain to be pigeon-holed as a minor classic by which people usually mean a classic more readable than the major kind … a man Mr Pooter would regard with awe but nevertheless recognise as a brother.’ Spectator
‘A book of such hilarious nature that I had to give up reading it in public.’ New Statesman
‘One of the funniest books ever.’ Sunday Express