A Damsel in Distress

Cover image for


Published: 1919
Language: English
Wordcount: 76,821 / 225 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 85.7
LoC Category: PR
Audiobook: librivox.org
Downloads: 11,711
mnybks.net#: 7560
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genres: Humor, Audiobook, Romance

When Maud Marsh flings herself into George Bevan's cab in Piccadilly, he starts believing in damsels in distress.George traces his mysterious travelling companion to Belpher Castle, home of Lord Marshmoreton, where things become severely muddled. Maud's aunt, Lady Caroline Byng, wants Maud to marry Reggie, her step-son. Maud, meanwhile, is known to be in love with an unknown American she met in Wales. So when George turns up speaking American, a nasty case of mistaken identity breaks out. In fact the scene is set for the perfect Wodehouse comedy of errors.

Show Excerpt

moking a cigarette and entertaining himself with meditations in which thoughts of Alice competed for precedence with graver reflections connected with the subject of the correct stance for his approach-shots. Reggie's was a troubled spirit these days. He was in love, and he had developed a bad slice with his mid-iron. He was practically a soul in torment.

"Lady Caroline asked me to tell you that she wishes to speak to you, Mr. Byng."

Reggie leaped from his seat.

"Hullo-ullo-ullo! There you are! I mean to say, what?"

He was conscious, as was his custom in her presence, of a warm, prickly sensation in the small of the back. Some kind of elephantiasis seemed to have attacked his hands and feet, swelling them to enormous proportions. He wished profoundly that he could get rid of his habit of yelping with nervous laughter whenever he encountered the girl of his dreams. It was calculated to give her a wrong impression of a chap--make her think him a fearful chump and what not!



Average Rating of 4.8 from 8 reviews: *****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1919) Humor (Love vs. Family) / Romance)

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

  • The family has picked out a suitable husband for the lovely Lady Alyce . However he is not her choice and he is in love with another.

  • Alyce is in distress and seeks a secret meeting with the American she loves. But things don't go well and another American George Bevan (a Broadway song writer), becomes her Knight in Shining Armor, to vanquish the immediate danger.

  • This gallant Knight now has his own dragon to conquer. Perhaps it is George who is more in distress. He has fallen in love with Alyce, at first sight, and devises multiple schemes (humerus in their execution and outcome) to see her again.

  • In her naive view of she and her lover, Alyce feels that she must contend with only her aunt, father and brother for the man she loves.

  • George has complicated matters, and now both Alyce and he, must contend with all the above as well as Georges friends and the servants, who have placed a wager on the outcome and each maneuvers to strengthen his chances.

  • Not confused enough? Well, assumptions and meddling by so many in their own interests, falsely points Alyce's affections to George, Alyce's widowed father has fallen for one of George's stage friends and the man Alyce is supposed to marry is in love with her father's secretary,.

  • Although not alone in her problems, Lady Alyce is certainly A Damsel in Distress


Really recommend reading this. Such a great, entertaining read. Very clever author,I loved the quirks of the writing and the characters.


Non-stop entertainment! (as with all of Wodehouse books I’ve read so far). My only criticism would be that I felt the ending was a little weak, but loved it all the same.


Pretty amusing book - I wouldn't have thought I would like a book from 1925, but yes, it also had me laughing pretty hard at some times.

If you're looking for deep philosophical thoughts, then this is definitely not it, though.

What it *is*, is a smooth read, quite funny and perhaps a glimpse in the time about a 100 years back. Interesting language "these chappies" have, speaking of their "old mater" and parting with a toodle-oo".



A Must Read Book to lighten the heart... i enjoyed the book very much...
many scenes made me laugh out loudly....


This is hilarious. It is my favorite non-Jeeves & Wooster novel by Wodehouse. The setting is a bit dated since this was written almost 100 years ago, but that does not detract form the story.

I think the part, early in the book, where he sees “the girl in the brown dress” is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

This book was changed greatly and made into a film will Burns & Allen. I think the book is better.


I didn't expect much from this book but it had me laughing in no time..if you want a good laugh, get this book..i loved it.


I just finished reading this book. I enjoyed it immensely. It actually had me laughing out loud in places and that's good for your health. One of the Wosehouse gems! I highly recommend it.

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