Aunt Agatha


Aunt Agatha

Agatha Gregson, née Wooster, later Lady Worplesdon, is a recurring fictional character from the Jeeves stories of British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse, being best known as Aunt Agatha, Bertie Wooster's least favourite aunt, and a counterpoint to her sister, Bertie's Aunt Dahlia. Fearsome and strong-willed, she is always trying to get Bertie married, though without success, thanks to Jeeves's interference. She is known as "the nephew-crusher". Bertie would avoid her if he could, but far too often finds himself bent to her indomitable will.

Overview

Agatha had at first been affianced to Percy Craye, though upon reading in the papers of his behavior at a Covent Garden ball, she had ended the engagement. She then married Spenser Gregson, who is her husband for most of the Wodehouse canon, though he dies in time for her to marry Craye, who had by then become Lord Worplesdon, Earl of Worplesdon, whereupon she becomes Lady Worplesdon. She has one son, Thomas Gregson, (Thos.).

Actors

In "Jeeves and Wooster", a Granada Television series based on the canon, which aired in the early 1990s, she was played by Mary Wimbush for the first three series and by Elizabeth Spriggs in the fourth.

Aunt Agatha as described by Bertie

* "My Aunt Agatha, the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth."
* "Aunt Agatha, who eats broken bottles and wears barbed wire next to the skin."
* "When Aunt Agatha wants you to do a thing you do it, or else you find yourself wondering why those fellows in the olden days made such a fuss when they had trouble with the Spanish Inquisition."
* "Aunt Agatha, the one who kills rats with her teeth and devours her young."
* "My Aunt Agatha who eats broken bottles and is strongly suspected of turning into a werewolf at the time of the full moon."

Aunt Agatha also seems likely to have caused Bertie's expostulation that "It is no use telling me that there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof".

Allusion

* "Aunt Agatha", or "Great Aunt Agatha", is a term sometimes used somewhat disparagingly by workers in the City of London's financial markets to describe a risk-averse, low-volume, non-corporate investor.
* "Aunt Agatha's flying helmet" is used as a raffle box for competition entries in the 'Straight and Level' humour page in "Flight International", a British aviation-related trade journal.


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