Honoria Plum – Another Nice Find

by Victoria Madden

I got into blogging almost by accident: I was writing a book and it occurred to me – I still don’t know how, I’m a complete techno-idiot – that putting my ideas online would help me get a better perspective on what I was writing.  After many diversions I ended up with three, inter-related blogs: one of which you are now reading.

When someone actually posted a (very nice) comment on an article I’d written here that mentioned P. G. Wodehouse, I had a feeling of slight alarm.  I spent two or three months looking at it doubtfully, then took the plunge and rather gingerly added it to my post. More time passed.

It finally occurred to me to wonder who this person from the Internet was who’d left such an astute and gratifying comment – and more particularly, how they’d found my post.  I followed the link like Alice and turned up a chap in India – and a huge P. G. Wodehouse fan to boot.  Wandering round his entertaining site I discovered an article from another P. G. Wodehouse fan, that he had re-blogged; and thus found myself in Plumtopia, the wonderful world of Honoria Plum.

Plumtopia is a Saturday to Monday at a country house between the wars, where your charming and intelligent hostess introduces you to a variety of delightful people with whom you chat on interesting topics over tea on the terrace, while the ‘Old Reliable’, the consistently excellent and witty Ashokbhatia, puts in a well-placed comment every now and then.  In summer, naturally.  You will be given a tour of the rose-garden later.

I am spending far too much time on this absorbing site when I should be doing other things, but it’s a real pleasure to read something so well written in a world where standards are rapidly falling and the so-called ‘Quality Press’ puts a photograph of Orlando Bloom being stopped for speeding in the middle of the political pages. (I ask you!)  And she says such sensible things.

Her views on books are sound, her points well made and her arguments intelligently constructed; her articles are always interesting and well reasoned and her judgement of other articles she re-blogs well-considered; her replies to those who comment are courteous and well thought out.  It really is a very nice find. (Although I was mortified to discover how insular my prejudices were – I had assumed from her writing style she was English; she is actually Australian.)

She states on her blog that she came to England ‘in search of a life inspired by the literature of P. G. Wodehouse’ and her aim is to celebrate this with other fans.  In an increasingly sordid world this is a laudable quest; and to those other Wodehousians out there, an entirely understandable aim.

One thing leads to another: from Ashokbhatia to Honoria Plum to another good site: the extensively read Tom at novelreading : a blog of intelligently written book reviews. If you are wondering whether to read a particular book, I’d suggest you look there first to see if he’s read it and what he thinks.

If, like me, you are taking your first steps into this bewildering and slightly intimidating world of social media, then rest assured it is not just the abode of moral illiterati and internet trolls. There are some good people out there, somewhere. The only problem lies in finding them.