A Gentleman of Leisure
By P. G. Wodehouse
After inheriting a fortune, and just back to New York from a cruise on which he spotted an intriguing young woman, Jimmy Pitt is drifting. So after seeing a blockbuster play about a gentleman thief, he’s ready to bet his friends at the Strollers’ Club that he could pull off a burglary himself. That night he makes friends with a real-life “Bowery Boy” thief, who helps him break into a corrupt police captain’s house, and everyone gets way more than they bargained for. Later, the action moves to the Earl of Dreever’s castle in England. There, the misunderstandings, threats, cheating, and confusion only multiply, requiring all of Jimmy’s wits and daring to clear up.
In this short novel, P. G. Wodehouse takes on many of the themes his fans will recognize from his Jeeves and Wooster books: the ridiculous upper class, the frequent need to hide one’s suspicious origins (while uncovering those of others), and the importance of amateur theatricals, dressing for dinner, champagne, and true love.
First published in 1910, A Gentleman of Leisure has also appeared in several other versions, under the titles The Gem Collector and The Intrusion of Jimmy. It was also adapted into a Broadway play that starred Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and silent movie versions followed in 1915 and 1923. This Standard Ebook is based on the edition published in 1921 by Herbert Jenkins Ltd.