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The White Feather

P. G. Wodehouse

Book Overview: 

Sheen, a member of Seymour's House at Wrykyn School, flees from an unexpected assault by town boys. His colleagues wade into the fight with relish, acquiring bruises and sore heads, but in the fracas, Sheen is missed, and the story makes the rounds of Wrykyn that when blows were traded, Sheen "funked it."

Honor in such institutions depends on reliably standing with your House. As punishment for his defection, Sheen is "cut" - treated as if he did not exist.

In a later expedition into town, Sheen is set upon by the town bullies and finds that when retreat is no option, he can take their blows and fight against odds. Seeing his pluck, bystander Joe Bevan, an ex-champion boxer, offers to tutor Sheen.

Surprisingly, Sheen finds he has a knack for boxing. And with that discovery comes a plan: he will fight for his House in the Lightweight division and win back his honor.

But the best-laid plans... may go awry!

Wodehouse, a humorist, picks up the sober topic of cowardice but treats it with his customary panache.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Albert was making hay of us. Still, all's well that ends well. We have smitten the Philistines this day. By the way—"

"What's up now?"

"Who was that chap with you when you came up?"

"Which chap?"

"I thought I saw some one."

"You shouldn't eat so much tea. You saw double."

"There wasn't anybody?"

"No," said Drummond.

"Not Sheen?"

"No," said Drummond, irritably. "How many more times do you want me to say it?"

"All right," said Linton, "I only asked. I met him outside."




"You might be sociable."

"I know I might. But I want to read."

"Lucky man. Wish I could. I can hardly see. Well, good bye, then. I'm off."

"Good," grunted Drummond. "You know your way out, don't you?"

Linton went back to his own study.

"It's all very well," he said to himself, "for Drummond to deny it, but. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Most of the readers of this rather short novel will be P.G. Wodehouse's fans wanting to explore his early literary career. They may be disappointed because they won't find the wittiness and humor of his Jeeves novels. That's not what this story is about. This is a plot-oriented story, working around

Those who know their Wodehouse well know that he did not spring his light fully-formed on the world, but rather rose slowly like an elderly aunt at daybreak. This, then, is Wodehouse at the cock-crow - a pre-Jeevesian jaunt into the world of public school life. As such it differs significantly from

Outstanding example of a Wodehouse public school ripping yarn of his early era (aged 26 in 1907). Full of chaps, rotters, fags and bounders of various types, rugger, boxing and fives. Has a number of flaws which he later discusses in his "Performing Flea" autobioigraphy, notably the inclusion of too

Despite my ignorance involving sports (what is the English sport "Fives"? is it handball?), once I got into this 'School Story' I really enjoyed it. It wasn't as humorous as many of his novels but instead was a good coming of age story from the early years of the 20th century.

Aged quite well

Loved this book when I read it as a boy. Just bought it and it's aged quite well. It is a product of it's times and contains words and ideas that are not politically correct in this day and age - or for the past fifty years at least. If you can get your head around that and enjoy it f

PGW went through most of the other school sports in earlier volumes, so this one focuses on boxing. Poor Sheen has disgraced himself. How? By refusing to get involved in a brawl between his schoolmates and some ruffians from St. Jude's, the town school. He's being treated as a pariah, so he tries to

I was all set and ready to dislike this book. (What? Shawn, dislike a Wodehouse book? Read on.)

Another of the school stories, The White Feather takes some of the worst aspects of the schoolboy culture and raises it front and center. Scholastic achievement? Worthless. Sport is all that matters. Are y

Given that this is about a boy's school and a boxing champion, it was more enjoyable than I would have expected. Wodehouse was a talented writer, and his insights into life and characters are always, in my view, well done.

Worth reading by fans of Wodehouse, and as a piece of cultural history, albei

The White Feather dates to 1907 and was the 6th book of his to be published. At this time he was writing about topics he most loved and were easiest for him. The setting is an English public school, what we would call a private school, and is deeply concerned with school sports and social standing.

The book is a classic set in a bygone era of relative innocence. Although not descriptive of the geographical setting, it gives a rough idea of the surroundings and it's enough, in my opinion, to understand the story and serves not to distract the reader unduly. The character development of the prot

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