First up on the tour through the works of PG Wodehouse is The Pothunters. This was originally published in 1902, according to the information on the copyright page. Before it was a book, however, it was first published as a serial in Public School Magazine in January-March of the same year. This is one that I’ve read before and, if I recall correctly, much of the style and mannerisms that are a source of humor in Wodehouse’s later works are taken more seriously in this one. According to the back text and my own memory, this is a quasi-mystery story about stolen cricket trophies and a noble youth unjustly accused who seeks the real culprit in order to remove the stain from his honor.
He started out writing these kinds of mildly amusing, earnestly moral stories for magazines aimed at boys in their early teens. Wodehouse himself was a young man not far removed from these school days; he was about 20 when this story was written. I’ll check in again when I’ve finished the book with some more detailed thoughts.