From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Mr Mulliner)

Mr Mulliner
First appearance" The Truth about George" (1926)
Last appearance" George and Alfred" (1967)
Created by P. G. Wodehouse
In-universe information

Mr. Mulliner is a fictional character from the short stories of P. G. Wodehouse. Mr. Mulliner is a loquacious pub raconteur who, no matter what the topic of conversation, can find an appropriate (if improbable) story about a member of his family to match it.

Like much of Wodehouse's work, the Mr. Mulliner stories were originally written for magazine publication. Thirty-seven of the 41 overall Mulliner stories were originally published between 1926 and 1937. The final four stories appeared much later, being published between 1958 and 1972.


Like his fellow Wodehouse character, the Oldest Member, the raconteur Mr. Mulliner can turn any conversation into a "recollection", or funny story. A habitué of the Angler's Rest pub, his fellow drinkers are identified only by their beverages. (Mr. Mulliner is a Hot Scotch and Lemon.) Wodehouse revealed in an introduction that he devised Mr. Mulliner after collecting notebooks full of ideas that could not be used because they were too outlandish, until he had the happy notion of a fisherman whose veracity could be doubted.

The tales of Mulliner all involve one of his relations: there are dozens upon dozens of cousins, nieces, and nephews. These include stories about loves lost, found and rekindled; fortunes made and lost; and opportunities grasped or missed. They take place across the globe: Los Angeles's Hollywood and the English Country House are the settings for many.

Two Mulliner stores (" Gala Night" and " The Rise of Minna Nordstrom") are not primarily about one of Mr. Mulliner's relatives. However, in these two cases, Mr. Mulliner states that the stories were told to him by relatives; he is therefore reporting a story told to him by a relation, rather than a story about a relation.


The Mulliner stories all employ an unusual structure. At the beginning of each story, an unnamed first-person narrator sets the scene at the Angler's Rest pub, describing the conversation at the bar-parlour. This will lead to Mr. Mulliner entering the conversation, generally elaborating on the conversational theme, and remarking that it reminds him of a story involving a relative. Then, no more than a page or two into the story, Mr. Mulliner effectively takes over the narration of the tale, describing the events that befell the relative in question. In the earlier stories, the unnamed first-person narrator returns very briefly to close out the tale back at the Angler's Rest—in later stories, the story ends when Mr. Mulliner has concluded it.

Mr. Mulliner himself is rarely a character in the tales he tells. An exception is the story "George and Alfred", in which Mr. Mulliner tries to help out one of his nephews who has been accused of a crime. In this story, we learn that Mr. Mulliner is a friend of Hollywood studio head Jacob Z. Schnellenhamer, and that he has stayed on Schnellenhamer's yacht while it was cruising the Mediterranean. We also learn that Mr. Mulliner's first name, whatever it may be, is not George.

Little else is revealed of Mulliner's character beyond his large family, his choice of beverage, and his hobby of fishing (which he mentions in one story replaced his earlier hobby of golf). Nevertheless, Mulliner narrates forty short stories. Many are collected in the three books, containing nine stories each, which bear his name:

The remaining fourteen stories are scattered in other volumes:

The World of Mr Mulliner is an omnibus containing all 41 stories narrated by Mr. Mulliner. It also includes one other story which has a tangential connection to the series: "From a Detective's Notebook" (1959) is narrated by the detective Adrian Mulliner, who had previously been established as one of Mr. Mulliner's innumerable nephews. Strictly speaking, despite its appearance in the Mr. Mulliner omnibus, this tale cannot be considered a Mr. Mulliner story, as Mr. Mulliner does not narrate it, appear in it, and is not actually referenced in it in any way. [1]

Another story tangentially connected to the series is the very short Mulliner story entitled "Shock Dogs", which was not published in any story collection. The story was published in the 14 February 1940 issue of the British satirical magazine Punch and is not more than two pages long. [2] It is signed with initials only (P.G.W.) but the Articles and Verse listing in the bound Punch volume CXCVIIJ Jan-June 1940 attributes the story to Wodehouse, P. G. It mentions by name Hitler, Brauchitsch, and Goebbels, which is very unusual for an author who so seldom allowed politics to impinge on his novels and stories.

Also note that a handful of what were to become "Mr. Mulliner stories" were originally published in magazines without the framework of Mr. Mulliner telling the story in question. (These include three stories about Bobbie Wickham, as well as one about James Rodman.) When revised for book publication, Wodehouse added the Mulliner openings and narration — and it is these revised versions which appear in all Mulliner and Wodehouse anthologies to this day. These revised stories can often be distinguished by Mulliner identifying the prime character of the story as a "distant cousin" (or some other far-flung relation) whose surname is not Mulliner.

Known relatives


  • A Sieur de Moulinières "came over with the Conqueror", presumably in 1066.
  • A Mulliner "once received the thanks of his Sovereign for services rendered on the field of Crecy". (The Battle of Crecy occurred in 1346.)


  • Unnamed. Died in the late 19th century. It is this grandmother who made William (below) pledge to not drink until he turned 21—or 41, William can't quite remember which.


  • William Mulliner, a businessman


  • Myrtle Banks, married William


  • Wilfred Mulliner, a chemist and inventor
  • Sir Sholto Mulliner, M.V.O.
  • Joseph Mulliner


  • Angela Purdue, married Wilfred
  • Lady Wilhelmina Mulliner, widow of Sir Sholto

First cousins:

  • John San Francisco Earthquake Mulliner, son of William and Myrtle
  • (unnamed brother of above)
  • Clarence Mulliner, photographer
  • Cedric Mulliner
  • Lady Wickham, novelist under the pen-name "George Masterman"
  • Edward Mulliner
  • Rupert Mulliner
  • Egbert Mulliner, civil servant

Cousins by marriage:

  • Gladys Biggs, married Clarence
  • Myrtle Watling, married Cedric
  • Sir Cuthbert Wickham, married Lady Wickham

First cousins, once removed:

  • Roberta "Bobbie" Wickham, daughter of Sir Cuthbert and Lady Wickham
  • Lancelot Mulliner, an artist, Edward's son
  • Mervyn Mulliner
  • Anselm Mulliner, a curate, Rupert's son
  • (unnamed older brother of Anselm)

First cousin, once removed, by marriage:

  • Gladys Bingley, married Lancelot

Distant cousins:

  • James Rodman, mystery novelist
  • Agnes Flack, championship golfer and "daughter of a distant cousin"
  • Montrose Mulliner, Assistant Director of the Perfecto-Zizzbaum Motion Picture Corp. of Hollywood
  • Wilmot Mulliner, a "nodder" at Perfecto-Zizzbaum

Distant cousins by marriage:

  • Sidney George McMurdo, insurance executive and scratch golfer; marries Agnes
  • Rosalie Beamish, marries Montrose
  • Mabel Potter, a private secretary and ex-bird imitator in Vaudeville; marries Wilmot


Note that Mr. Mulliner has three nephews named George, all different people.

  • George Mulliner, a stammerer and crossword puzzle enthusiast
  • Ferdinand Mulliner, studying at Eton (older son of Wilfred and Angela)
  • Percival Mulliner, at preparatory school in Sussex (younger son of Wilfred and Angela)
  • Augustine Mulliner, a curate (later a vicar)
  • (name unknown), a student at Harchester, younger brother of Augustine
  • Lancelot Bassington Mulliner, an aspiring poet
  • Osbert Mulliner, a jade collector
  • Frederick Mulliner
  • Dr. George Mulliner, brother of Frederick
  • Archibald Mulliner, member of the Drones Club, son of Sir Sholto and Lady Wilhelmina, and a skilled chicken-impersonator
  • Ignatius Mulliner, portrait painter and ukulele player
  • Mordred Mulliner, a poet
  • Adrian Mulliner, a detective
  • Sacheverell Mulliner
  • Eustace Mulliner, works at the Swiss Embassy
  • Egbert Mulliner, assistant editor of The Weekly Booklover
  • Cyril Mulliner, interior decorator
  • Bulstrode Mulliner, screenwriter in Hollywood
  • Brancepeth Mulliner, an artist
  • Augustus Mulliner
  • Reginald Mulliner, inheritor of a substantial sum of money
  • George Mulliner, screenwriter in Hollywood, identical twin of Alfred
  • Alfred Mulliner, professional conjurer known as the Great Alfredo, identical twin of George

Nephews by marriage:

  • Aubrey Bassinger, married Charlotte


  • Charlotte Mulliner, a poet

Nieces by marriage:

  • Aurelia Cammerleigh, married Archibald
  • Annabella Spockett-Sprockett, married Mordred
  • Hermione Rossiter, married Ignatius
  • Mabel Petherick-Soames, married Osbert
  • Evangeline Pembury, novelist, married Egbert
  • Amelia Bassett, married Cyril
  • Jane, married Augustine
  • Hermione Brimble, married Augustus
  • Jane Oliphant, married Frederick
  • Lady Millicent Shipton-Bellinger, married Adrian
  • Muriel Branksome, married Sacheverell
  • Susan Blake, married George (her fellow crossword puzzle enthusiast)

Nature of relationship uncertain:

  • Theophilus Mulliner, the bishop of Bognor

Original appearances

  1. " The Truth about George"
  2. " A Slice of Life"
    • U.K.: Strand, August 1926
    • U.S.: Liberty, 7 August 1926
  3. " Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo"
    • U.K.: Strand, November 1926
    • U.S.: Liberty, 4 September 1926
  4. " The Romance of a Bulb-Squeezer"
    • U.K.: Strand, March 1927
    • U.S.: Liberty, 12 March 1927
  5. " The Story of William"
    • U.K.: Strand, May 1927
    • U.S.: Liberty, 9 April 1927 (as "It Was Only a Fire")
  6. " Those in Peril on the Tee"
    • UK: Strand, June 1927
    • US: Liberty, 21 May 1927
      • Original UK version is narrated by the Oldest Member, not Mr. Mulliner.
  7. " Came the Dawn"
    • U.K.: Strand, July 1927
    • U.S.: Liberty, 11 June 1927
  8. " The Bishop's Move"
    • U.K.: Strand, September 1927
    • U.S.: Liberty, 20 August 1927
  9. " Portrait of a Disciplinarian"
    • U.K.: Strand, October 1927
    • U.S.: Liberty, 24 September 1927
  10. " Honeysuckle Cottage"
    • Initially published without Mr. Mulliner framework
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story in Meet Mr. Mulliner, September 1927
  11. " The Reverent Wooing of Archibald"
  12. " The Ordeal of Osbert Mulliner"
    • UK: Strand, December 1928
    • US: Liberty, 24 November 1928
  13. " Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court"
    • UK: Strand, February 1929
    • US: Liberty, 2 February 1929
  14. " The Man Who Gave Up Smoking"
    • UK: Strand, March 1929
    • US: Liberty, 23 March 1929
  15. " The Story of Cedric"
    • UK: Strand, May 1929
    • US: Liberty, 11 May 1929
  16. " Something Squishy"
    • Initially published without Mr. Mulliner framework
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story in Mr. Mulliner Speaking, April 1929
  17. " The Awful Gladness of the Mater"
    • Initially published without Mr. Mulliner framework
      • UK: Strand, May 1925
      • US: Saturday Evening Post, 21 March 1925
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story in Mr. Mulliner Speaking, April 1929
  18. " The Passing of Ambrose"
    • Initially published without Mr. Mulliner framework
      • UK: Strand, July 1928
      • US: Cosmopolitan, August 1928
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story in Mr. Mulliner Speaking, April 1929
  19. " Gala Night"
    • UK: Strand, June 1930
    • US: Cosmopolitan, May 1930
  20. " Best Seller"
    • Early version published without Mr. Mulliner framework as "Parted Ways"
      • UK: Strand, December 1914
      • US: Pictorial Review, June 1915
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story:
      • UK: Strand, July 1930
      • US: Cosmopolitan, June 1930
  21. " The Knightly Quest of Mervyn"
    • UK: Strand, July 1931 (as "Quest")
    • US: Cosmopolitan, April 1931 (as "Quest")
  22. " The Voice from the Past"
    • UK: Strand, December 1931
    • US: American, November 1931
  23. " The Smile that Wins"
    • UK: Strand, February 1932
    • US: American, October 1931
  24. " Strychnine in the Soup"
    • UK: Strand, March 1932
    • US: American, December 1931 (as "The Missing Mystery")
  25. " The Story of Webster"
    • UK: Strand, May 1932 (as "The Bishop's Cat")
    • US: American, February 1932
  26. " Cats will be Cats"
    • UK: Strand, June 1932 (as "The Bishop's Folly")
    • US: American, March 1932 (as "The Bishop's Folly")
  27. " Open House"
    • UK: Strand, April 1932
    • US: American, April 1932
  28. " Monkey Business"
    • UK: Strand, December 1932
    • US: American Magazine, December 1932 (as "A Cagey Gorilla")
  29. " The Nodder"
    • UK: Strand, January 1933
    • US: American Magazine, January 1933 (as "Love Birds")
  30. " The Juice of an Orange"
    • UK: Strand, February 1933
    • US: American Magazine, February 1933 (as "Love on a Diet")
  31. " The Rise of Minna Nordstrom"
    • UK: Strand, April 1933
    • US: American Magazine, March 1933 (as "A Star is Born")
  32. " The Castaways"
    • UK: Strand, June 1933
  33. " The Fiery Wooing of Mordred"
    • US: Cosmopolitan, December 1934
    • UK: Strand, February 1935
  34. " Archibald and the Masses"
    • US: Cosmopolitan, August 1935
    • UK: Strand, February 1936
  35. " The Code of the Mulliners"
    • US: Cosmopolitan, February 1935
    • UK: Strand, April 1935
  36. " Buried Treasure"
    • UK: Strand, September 1936
    • US: This Week, 27 September 1936 (as "Hidden Treasure")
  37. " Anselm Gets His Chance"
    • US: Saturday Evening Post, 3 July 1937
    • UK: Strand, July 1937
  38. " The Right Approach"
    • Early version published without Mr. Mulliner framework as "Joy Bells For Barmy"
      • US: Cosmopolitan, October 1947
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story:
  39. " Big Business"
    • Early version published without Mr. Mulliner framework
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story in the 1959 book A Few Quick Ones
  40. " George and Alfred"
    • Early version published without Mr. Mulliner framework as "Rallying Round Old George"
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story:
  41. "Another Christmas Carol"
    • Early version published without Mr. Mulliner framework
    • Subsequently, rewritten. First appearance as a Mr. Mulliner story in the 1972 book The World of Mr. Mulliner


Fourteen Mulliner stories were adapted for television as part of the 1974–1978 television series Wodehouse Playhouse, though Mr Mulliner himself only appeared in the pilot episode. In the episode, "The Reverent Wooing of Archibald", Mr Mulliner was portrayed by William Mervyn. [3]

Richard Griffiths starred as Mr Mulliner in a series of radio adaptations of the stories, including six episodes in 2002 under the title Meet Mr Mulliner and four episodes in 2004 under the title More Mr Mulliner. The series aired on BBC Radio 4. [4]


  1. ^ McIlvaine (1990), pp. 115–116, B5. In the first edition of The World of Mr Mulliner, the 40 main stories vary between 11 and 20 pages in length. "Another Christmas Carol" is not more than 5 pages long, and "From a Detective's Notebook" is not more than 4 pages long.
  2. ^ McIlvaine (1990), p. 178, D124.92.
  3. ^ "Comedy Playhouse presents: The Reverent Wooing of Archibald". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  4. ^ "BBC Genome (Mr Mulliner episode listings)". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2019.


  • Garrison, Daniel H. (1989). Who's Who in Wodehouse. New York: International Polygonics, Ltd. ISBN  1-55882-054-X.
  • McIlvaine, Eileen; Sherby, Louise S.; Heineman, James H. (1990). P. G. Wodehouse: A Comprehensive Bibliography and Checklist. New York: James H. Heineman Inc. ISBN  978-0-87008-125-5.
  • Usborne, Richard (2003). Plum Sauce: A P. G. Wodehouse Companion. Woodstock, N.Y.: The Overlook Press. pp. 137–207. ISBN  1-58567-441-9.