Reviews by Paul R. Spiring

The Mystery of the Jade Spear

by B. Fletcher Robinson

The Mystery of the Jade Spear: Home Magazine of Fiction, January 1905 (pp. 79-88). In this sixth and final episode (Chapter 8 in the book edition), one Colonel William Bulstrode is inadvertently killed by his brother, Anstruther Bulstrode following a dispute over the ownership of a valuable jade spear. The surname of both the victim and culprit might be derived from Bulstrode Park in northwest Buckinghamshire. This is the site of a former house that was built for the infamous ‘Hanging Judge’, George Jeffreys (1645-1689). He was the son of John Jeffreys (1608-1691), a notable Royalist during the English Civil War (1642-1651). Bertram Fletcher Robinson was a history graduate with a special interest in the English Civil War and he is known to have visited Buckinghamshire. The use of the Christian name Anstruther is also noteworthy because it was later used by PG Wodehouse within a short story entitled The Love That Purifies (1929), which was republished in Very Good, Jeeves (1930). Wodehouse collaborated with Fletcher Robinson on at least four separate occasions between 1904 and 1907 and 'Mr. Anstruther' remains one of his most notable incidental characters. Moreover, there is also a repetition between the Christian names of Bertram Fletcher Robinson and the famous Wodehouse character, Bertram Wilberforce Wooster.

Reviewed on 2010.06.19

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