Gussie Fink-Nottle

Gussie Fink-Nottle

Augustus "Gussie" Fink-Nottle is a recurring fictional character in the "Jeeves" novels of British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse, being a lifelong friend of Jeeves's master Bertie Wooster, and a possible member of the Drones Club. Described as "a teetotal bachelor with a face like a fish", he wears horn-rimmed spectacles, and is a noted newt fancier.

Overview

Gussie Fink-Nottle met Bertie Wooster at Malvern House Preparatory School, where they were schoolmates; growing up, he took up residence in a remote part of Lincolnshire to pursue his beloved newt studies. When, in "Right Ho, Jeeves", he first sees Madeline Bassett, he falls immediately in love with her; however, too shy to tell her himself, he convinces Bertie to break the news for him. Madeline misunderstands Bertie, thinking that he loves her and is trying to tell her indirectly, and when, later in the book, she becomes engaged to Gussie, she promises to marry Bertie if ever Gussie leaves her. Consequently, Bertie spends a great deal of time keeping Gussie engaged to Madeline.

A threat to their continued engagement is the constant presence of Roderick Spode, a friend of Madeline's father Sir Watkyn Bassett. Having loved her in silence for years, but convinced of his unsuitability for her, Spode is nevertheless anxious to protect her from heartbreak or wrongdoing by any of her fiancés, and eager to beat any man to a pulp who does not treat her properly. Gussie feels Spode's wrath on several occasions. Gussie never actually marries Madeline, instead eloping with the daughter of an American millionaire, Emerald Stoker (who was working as a cook at the Bassett mansion).

The scene in "Right Ho, Jeeves" in which Gussie, thoroughly inebriated due to Jeeves and, later, Bertie Wooster lacing his orange juice with a sufficient amount of gin, as well as his own massive drink of whisky, gives a speech at the Market Snodsbury Grammar School is often cited as among the finest vignettes of English comic literature. The diatribe goes on for several pages, and concludes with Gussie hinting darkly at illicit relations between the Headmaster of the Market Snodsbury Grammar School and the mother of the recipient of the prize he is awarding. He had previously hinted that the individual concerned was also well known to the police, much to the discomfort of Bertie Wooster and the amusement of Jeeves. The incident was only concluded by the timely intervention of the choir singing the National Anthem.

Gussie's odd mannerisms (especially his obsession with newts and social ineptitude) are reminiscent of somebody with Asperger syndrome. Max Hastings likened the new London mayor Boris Johnson to Gussie, saying "he developed the persona which has become famous today, a façade resembling that of PG Wodehouse's Gussie Finknottle, allied to wit, charm, brilliance and startling flashes of instability." [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/30/boris.livingstone Max Hastings: Boris the buffoon is dead. Stand by for Boris the mayor | Comment is free | The Observer ] ]

tories

Gussie is featured in:

* "Right Ho, Jeeves" (1934) – a Jeeves novel
* "The Code of the Woosters" (1938) – a Jeeves novel
* "The Mating Season" (1949) – a Jeeves novel
* "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves" (1963) – a Jeeves novel

Actors

; Film and TV actors [http://imdb.com/Find?select=Characters&for=Fink-Nottle "Fink-Nottle"] at the Internet Movie Database

* In the 1990-1993 ITV series "Jeeves and Wooster":
** Richard Garnett, season 1 (episodes 4–5), season 2 (episodes 1–2)
** Richard Braine, season 3 (episodes 4–5), season 4 (episode 5)
* James Kall in the 2001 film/TV recording of the musical "By Jeeves"

; Radio actors

; Audiobook actors

References

; Sources consulted

* Cite web
author = Reggie
date = 2007-03-16 revision
title = "Wodehouse Who's Who: Augustus Fink-Nottle"
work = Blandings, a Companion to the Works of P. G. Wodehouse
url = http://www.blandings.org.uk/who/Fink-Nottle_Gussie.htm
archiveurl = http://webcitation.org/query?date=2007-09-21&url=http://www.blandings.org.uk/who/Fink-Nottle_Gussie.htm
archivedate = 2007-09-21

* Cite book
author = Usborne, Richard
title = Plum Sauce: A P. G. Wodehouse Companion
location = Woodstock, N.Y.
publisher = Overlook Press
year = 2003
pages = p. 108–109
id = ISBN 1-58567-441-9

; Endnotes

External links

* Cite web
author = Hutchinson, Kyle
title = "Wodehouse Characters: Gussie Fink-Nottle"
work = The P. G. Wodehouse Story Index [database]
url = http://reasonablevoice.net/windex/character.php?name=919
(last updated 2006-05-11 )


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