Keeping it from Harold

by

P.G. Wodehouse

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Bill Bramble is the wife of Jane, the father of Harold, and a professional pugilist, or boxer, who fights under the name Young Porky. In the past, he enjoyed his reputation as an unpredictable fighter with a powerful left hook, confidently boasting that he could beat anyone in London “weighing eight stone four” in a twenty-round contest. Despite his violent vocation, Bill is “the mildest and most obliging of men” in his personal life. He lets his wife name their son and thinks of Harold as being a league above himself. Bill firmly resolves to quit boxing lest Harold learn the truth about his rough profession, although he fears the subsequent wrath of his wife and his trainer, Jerry. He plans to retire and become a boxing instructor for boys’ schools or colleges, where his record of respectability and sobriety could be rewarded with a cushy, well-regarded position—and where, ironically, many young men will want boxing lessons.

Bill Bramble Quotes in Keeping it from Harold

The Keeping it from Harold quotes below are all either spoken by Bill Bramble or refer to Bill Bramble. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Morality and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Strand edition of Keeping it from Harold published in 1913.
Keeping it from Harold Quotes

And then Harold had come into his life, and changed him into a furtive practiser of shady deeds. Before, he had gone about the world with a match-box full of press-notices, which he would extract with a pin and read to casual acquaintances. Now, he quailed at the sight of his name in print, so thoroughly had he become imbued with the necessity of keeping it from Harold.

Related Characters: Bill Bramble (speaker), Harold Bramble
Explanation and Analysis:

“He’s seen the error of his ways,” cried Percy, the resilient. “That’s what he’s gone and done. At the eleventh hour it has been vouchsafed to me to snatch the brand from the burning. Oh! I have waited for this joyful moment. I have watched for it. I—”

Related Characters: Major Percy Stokes (speaker), Harold Bramble, Jane Bramble, Bill Bramble
Explanation and Analysis:

“Goodness knows I’ve never liked your profession, Bill, but there is this to be said for it, that it’s earned you good money and made it possible for us to give Harold as good an education as any duke ever had, I’m sure. And you know yourself you said that the five hundred pounds you were going to get if you beat this Murphy, and even if you lost it would be a hundred and twenty, was going to be a blessing, because it would let us finish him off proper and give him a better start in life than you or me ever had.”

Related Characters: Jane Bramble (speaker), Harold Bramble, Bill Bramble
Explanation and Analysis:

“There’s a fellow at our school who goes about swanking in the most rotten way because he once got Bombardier Wells’s autograph. Fellows look up to him most awfully, and all the time they might have been doing it to me. That’s what makes me so jolly sick. How long do you suppose they’d go on calling me ‘Goggles’ if they knew that you were my father?”

Related Characters: Harold Bramble (speaker), Bill Bramble
Related Symbols: Glass/Goggles
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Keeping it from Harold LitChart as a printable PDF.
Keeping it from Harold PDF

Bill Bramble Character Timeline in Keeping it from Harold

The timeline below shows where the character Bill Bramble appears in Keeping it from Harold. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Keeping it from Harold
Morality and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
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...reflects on his model behavior and intelligence. Harold’s perfection compels both Jane and Harold’s father, Bill, to lie to their son about Bill’s (as of yet unnamed) profession. This hadn’t been... (full context)
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...in Sunday School, and the local clergy echoes Jane’s suggestion about keeping the truth of Bill’s job from the boy for his own good.  Jane’s brother, Major Percy Stokes of the... (full context)
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Bill easily agrees to conceal his career, being a mild and obliging man at heart. Before... (full context)
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...especially intelligent compared to his rather witless parents. So intelligent is Harold, in fact, that Bill and Jane are intimidated by him, considering him to be of a “superior order.” He... (full context)
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Jane, still darning socks, thinks happily of Bill’s plans to retire after his next big match and apply for a respectable and comfortable... (full context)
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Jane still doesn’t understand what’s going on and demands a straight answer from Bill. Finally, Bill admits that he isn’t going to fight next week. Jane asks him what... (full context)
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Jane starts to cry as Bill explains that he is thinking of Harold, and how he decided not to fight after... (full context)
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...in and rushes toward Percy. Percy dives under the table “like a performing seal” while Bill and Jane tell Jerry not to act so rudely. Jerry manages to restrain himself while... (full context)
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Suddenly Harold returns from his walk, and a furious Jerry seeks revenge on Bill by telling the boy the truth about his father. Bill and Percy try to cut... (full context)
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Harold unexpectedly demands to know what will happen to his bet on the match if Bill quits. He declares that it’s quite unfair for his father to spoil his bet after... (full context)
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...he can flaunt it, too, and put an end to the nickname “Goggles.” Jerry and Bill return to the gym, and Harold resumes practicing his recitation with Jane. (full context)