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Uncle Fred in the Springtime (Blandings Castle #6)

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,946 Ratings  ·  203 Reviews
Pongo Twistleton is in a state of financial embarrassment, again. Uncle Fred, meanwhile, has been asked by Lord Emsworth to foil a plot to steal the Empress, his prize pig. Along with Polly Pott (daughter of old Mustard), they form a deputation to Blandings Castle, bent on doing a "bit of good".
Hardcover, Everyman Wodehouse, 288 pages
Published April 15th 2004 by Everyman (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Dec 13, 2015 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness, what in the dickens is going on now? Impostors, you say? At Blandings Castle, you say? Well, you don't say!

Lord Ickenham, aka Uncle Fred is at it again. The OCC (original cool cucumber) has cooked up another improbable scheme to make all well again in a world in which he loves her, she loves him, Father A doesn't approve, Father B doesn't approve, Young Gadabout A needs a bit of the ready cash, and so does Young Gadabout B. Who better to tie these things all together than Uncle F
Jun 09, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time was I read a lot of PG Wodehouse, in the pre-web days where series that were oversupplied in used bookstore had a special place in my heart. I eventually had to stop because while I loved them I couldn't remember if I'd read Carry On, Jeeves but not Right Ho, Jeeves. And since all the plots involved Bertie starting himself accidentally engaged while trying to help out a friend and ended with him giving up on his desire to wear a green tie or white pants over the objections of Jeeves, I simp ...more
May 31, 2015 Bokeshi rated it it was amazing
Once again Wodehouse brings roses back to the cheeks. And once again I am amazed by his ability with words, aided by his astounding vocabulary and apparent erudition. From beautifully worded original descriptions in polysyllables, to both popular and obscure Latinisms, to numerous vernaculars and slang, he seems perfectly at home with them all and can fashion them into something light, bright and sparkling. His command of the English language is gorgeously beautiful, and as Keats puts it, "A thi ...more
Jun 04, 2008 Brynna rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, historic
Uncle Fred has become my favorite Wodehouse character. He is so calming, in spite of his escapades, because you know that he can handle anything (short of his wife's disapproval) that life could throw his way. A little blackmail here, taking a new identity there, and it's all fixed.
Nov 26, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am amazed that Wodehouse finds so many reasons for young couples to break their engagements, as well as reasons for needing to raise a bit of capital. The last paragraph of this novel seems to convey a warm, fuzzy feeling, but there's really not as much to be warm and fuzzy about as in the other Wodehouses I've read. They usually end with about six weddings in the works. This one has only one that we can be relatively sure of happening - that of Polly and Ricky - and her father and his uncle a ...more
Apr 28, 2012 Zedder rated it it was amazing
Before reading "Leave it to Psmith," I had an irrational aversion to non-Jeeves and Wooster Wodehouses. The character of Psmith completely overcame my aversion--he was some sort of unbelievable mongrel of J&W, simultaneously smart + stupid and sensible + debauched, as well as being the most hyper-articulate Wodehouse character I've come across so far. Now having read "Uncle Fred," I can happily report that it isn't just great characters that you can find in non-J&Ws, it's great plots as ...more
Aug 10, 2009 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wodehouse
What would life be without Wodehouse? It gives one the h.j. to contemplate, if that's the word I want. In the shires of imagination, no citizen does his or her duty quite so delightfully as Uncle Fred. Springtime is the season that Wodehouse brings with him, read whenever.
Jul 21, 2007 Plummo rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People I like
The greatest of the greatest.

A pig hides in the bathroom and eats soap. A beloved uncle jumps out of a wardrobe. A bedeviled duke sets about the furniture with a poker. Eggs are thrown at whistlers.

Can you spot the gaping hole in the plot?
Steve Mitchell
Jul 08, 2013 Steve Mitchell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the absent minded pig lover Lord Emsworth entertains the obstinate and quick tempered Duke of Dunstable at Blandings Castle a clash of personalities was bound to happen even if the two do agree on one thing: the other is totally loopy! Throw into the melting pot a broken engagement, an engagement that cannot be completed for lack of funds, some serious gambling debts and a private detective that cannot forget that he was a former silver ring turf accountant and life at Blandings looks set t ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Whenever Lord Ickenham, ever altruistic and wanting to spread light and happiness to all around him, comes up with plans, you may be sure there will be sufficient impromptu changes in the execution of these plans to test the patience and sanity of the unwitting victims and beneficiaries of these plans.

In this installment, dear Uncle Fred has to plan the rescue of a prized pig, pass himself off as a reknown psychologist to prevent a ducal houseguest from throwing eggs at a whistling gardener, fi
May 21, 2010 Dan rated it it was amazing
When Anthony Lane, an admitted Wodehouse addict, met Wodehouse biographer Robert Crum, Lane reports that he was greeted "not with a 'Hello' or a 'How are you?' but with the words 'When did you last read "Uncle Fred in the Springtime"?' I replied, quite truthfully, 'Yesterday.'" Lane, who at his best is a worthy successor to the Master, says it "may be Wodehouse's greatest novel." I'd place it right behind my three favorite Woosters, but my third reading was an unmitigated pleasure - except for t ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The brilliant Wodehouse does not cease to deliver. Took me a couple chapters at first to catch the story.
Jan 20, 2016 Carlton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another delightful Wodehouse novel, combining the setting of Blandings Castle, with Lord Emsworth, Lady Constance, Beach, Baxter and the Empress of Blandings as backing characters, and the anarchy that is Uncle Fred (5th Earl of Ickenham) and his unfortunate nephew, Pongo Twistleton.
The main story, to the extent that it is important, involves Horace Pendlebury-Davenport (a poet and friend of Pongo) who needs a sum of money (starting at 500 but reduced later to 250) to purchase an onion soup bar,
Jul 19, 2015 Rajan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bliss
Reading Wodehouse is pure bliss. His writing style seems simple but it is not. Wodehouse is a genius and he painstakingly creates humor out of ordinary everyday situations. It is not slap stick, satire or comic. It is pure unadulterated humor. Reading Wodehouse is the best stress buster and anti-depressant. He doesn’t claim to very highly literary writing prowess. In his own words “I believe there are two ways of writing novels. One is making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring r ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Wodehouse obviously spoke to a generation of English people - but what was he saying to them? That their fears and prejudices were good things? That women and romance were not to be trusted? He was an author of escapist fictions, and as Anthony Lane points out so well in an essay about Wodehouse, like other second rate authors (Tolkien and Doyle e.g.), when one turns the key and enters their world, one enters a world of limited possibilities and guaranteed outcomes - and therein lies the pleasur ...more
Nov 11, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
(This was a shared read with Donald. No specific notes.)

Plenty of laughs, as always!

We agreed that some of the relationships/characters in this book were a bit confusing. So many dukes, lords, and earls! (And for us-- simple, modern folk from the U.S. and Sweden-- the distinction between an earl and a duke is negligible, at best.) So many nieces, nephews, and sons! We could have used some sort of diagram or chart to keep them sorted. Of course, keeping track of exact relationships isn't necessar
Nov 30, 2014 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
*3.75 stars.
*The first two quotes are from a short story that introduced me to the characters of Pongo and Uncle Fred. The rest come from the novel:
“If he had a mind, there was something on it” (102).
"'And they've opened a pot of my raspberry jam.'
"'Ah, then you will be able to catch them red-handed'" (117).
“He was devoted to his helpmeet, never wavering in the opinion that she was the sweetest thing that had ever replied ‘Yes’ to a clergyman’s ‘Wilt thou?’” (33).
“…there had come into Mr. Pott’s
Jan 08, 2016 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious. Now I know what Grandpa was laughing about!
Michael Wilton
Feb 05, 2014 Michael Wilton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whenever you hear that the Earl of Ickenham or 'Uncle Fred' as he is known, is at large, his nephew Pongo turns faint with foreboding, and he usually has good cause. For once Uncle Fred is let loose on the metropolis anything can happen, and it invariably does.
When Alaric, Duke of Dunstable gets one of his crackpot ideas of removing the Empress of Blandings from the her sty and get her fit, her outraged owner, the Earl of Emsworth, calls hopefully on the trusty services of Uncle Fred to save the
Dec 22, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ah-deadly
Good lord, this is hysterical even by Wodehouse standards. "This leaves us with the simple problem - How is this existing state of what I might call 'plus pig' to be converted into a state of 'minus pig'? There can be only one answer, my dear Emsworth. The pig must be smuggled away to a place of safety and kept under cover till the Duke has blown over." Oh, if only it could be so simple!
Pongo Twisleton is in need of cash so he applies to his wealthy friend Horace Davenport. Horace has troubles of his own: first, his uncle, the Duke of Dunstable broke up the sitting-room furniture with a poker and then Horace's fiance, Valerie Twisleton broke up with him because he hired a private detective to tail her while she was on vacation. Next, Horace took his dancing teacher Polly Pott out for a night on the town and found himself in a brawl with Polly's fiance Ricky Gilpin. Polly loves ...more
Jun 17, 2014 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brit-wit fans, Wodehouse lovers
Shelves: smart-humor
Uncle Fred is a darling!

How can a reader not fall ears over heels for Wodehouse when he describes a character like this:

"...there entered a young man of great height but lacking the width of shoulder and ruggedness of limb which make height impressive. Nature, stretching Horace Davenport out, had forgotten to stretch him sideways, and one could have pictured Euclid, had they met, nudging a friend and saying: 'Don't look now, but this chap coming along illustrates exactly what I was telling you
Tamaghna Hazra
Sep 05, 2015 Tamaghna Hazra rated it really liked it
This was my very first Wodehouse, and I can see why people get hooked to his brand of literature. Usually you think of humour as having a buildup and a punchline, like a revolver winding back the hammer and BANG! Wodehouse is funny in almost every line, like a mechanized peashooter that tickles you into a steady flow of endorphins and a goofy bemused smile that invites quizzical looks if you read in public.

It's pretty amazing how he manages to tie up so many characters and subplots, each more ab
From BBC Radio 4:
Charming Earl of Ickenham (Uncle Fred) has received a plea from affably dotty Lord Emsworth to help foil a plot to steal his prize-winning pig. And to examine the sanity of eccentric Duke of Dunstable.
Juan Oxotko
Jan 06, 2016 Juan Oxotko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wodehouse always surprises
Mar 25, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, fiction
It's no good trying to relate the details of a Wodehouse novel's plot, so I'll summarize by saying this: impostors! Ridiculous fun and a top-tier Wodehouse, though it would have benefited from more Empress (and by including/resolving more of the romances, but I am just That Sort Of Reader, ymmv). This is the first Uncle Fred story I've read, and he proved delightfully terrifying in his schemes.

Advisory note: one of the editions--not the one I read, or else I might have skipped this book entirely
Rohit Kunal
Apr 02, 2016 Rohit Kunal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, well ! What can one say about Wodehouse! That he's a genius, that he makes you laugh at things most of the other authors don't observe, or dare to write, or think that it would not be worth it ?
This one is one of the Blandings stories. However, you don't find Uncle Gallahad but Uncle Fred. Uncle Fred is quite an amusing guy who contrives things on the fly. Quite amazing sense of intelligence he shows too. This story, though very bright, isn't amongst the best of Wodehouse, if I dare to say
Dec 13, 2015 Oluchi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More Blandings! Here we meet Pongo Twistleton's Uncle Fred, who might be past fifty, but feels and endeavors to act twenty-one. To assist young love, and his friend Lord Emsworth, he travels down to Blandings Castle as the eminent nerve specialist, Sir Roderick Glossop, taking his nephew and an old friend's daughter along for the ride. Mix in the sharp, egg-throwing Duke of Dunstable, and, making a return, the ever suspicious Efficient One, the somewhat upper-class twit Lord Bosham, designs upon ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Phillip rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wodehouse
This is one of the brilliant Blandings Castle stories. A young man is trapped in a phone booth in his club so that the members can bet on what kind of clothes he is wearing. The result is that one of the other members looses borrowed money and must go into hiding from underworld debt collectors. There are young lovers attempting to raise 250 pounds to buy an onion soup stall so they will have money to get married. The unflappable Lord Ickenham takes measures that turn things worse before they ge ...more
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Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE, was a comic writer who enjoyed enormous popular success during a career of more than seventy years and continues to be widely read over 40 years after his death. Despite the political and social upheavals that occurred during his life, much of which was spent in France and the United States, Wodehouse's main canvas remained that of prewar English upper-class so ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Blandings Castle (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Something Fresh (Blandings Castle, #1)
  • Leave It to Psmith (Psmith, #4 ; Blandings Castle, #2)
  • Blandings Castle
  • Summer Lightning
  • Heavy Weather (Blandings Castle, #5)
  • Full Moon (Blandings Castle, #7)
  • Pigs Have Wings (Blandings Castle, #8)
  • Service With a Smile
  • Galahad at Blandings (Blandings Castle, #10)
  • A Pelican at Blandings (Blandings Castle, #11)

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“A lesser moustache, under the impact of that quick, agonised expulsion of breath, would have worked loose at the roots.” 12 likes
“The cosy glow which had been enveloping the Duke became shot through by a sudden chill. It was as if he had been luxuriating in a warm shower bath, and some hidden hand had turned on the cold tap.” 8 likes
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