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P G Wodehouse

Famous as Playwright and Author

Born on 15 October 1881

Born in Guildford, Surrey, UK

Died on 14 February 1975

Nationality United States

Works & Achievements The Inimitable Jeeves, The Adventures of Sally and The Pothunters; Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1975)

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was an English satirist, author and a comic novelist who created the famous fictional characters of Bertie Wooster and Reginald Jeeves. In his unusual seventy three years long career, Wodehouse wrote 15 plays and 250 lyrics for over 30 musical comedies and earned praise as a Master of parody and English prose. The writer witnessed an enormous success for his works such as The Inimitable Jeeves, Carry on Jeeves, Right Ho Jeeves and still continues to be read worldwide. He also worked as a playwright and lyricist, writing lyrics for numerous songs, including the same for the hit song Bill in Snow Boat. A number of his plays, including A Damsel in Distress and The Girl On The Boat have made it to the silver screen and have been adopted in to film. In his later years, Wodehouse took a permanent residence in the United States following a political upheaval in England causing his arrest and imprisonment for suspected treachery.

Childhood & Education

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was born on 15 October 1881 in Guildford, England to Henry Ernest Wodehouse and his wife Eleanor Wodehouse and was the third of four sons born to his parents. Wodehouse’s father was a British Judge in Hong Kong at the time of his birth and after living with his parents for sometime, Wodehouse was sent to England for schooling. In 1894, he was admitted in to Dulwich College where he did well in both academics and sports and edited the college magazine Alleynian for two years. He also actively participated in musical and theatrical roles, and represented his school at Rugby and boxing. He received his graduate degree in 1900.

 Early Career

Two years after his graduation, Wodehouse took up a job with the Hong Kong and Shanghai bank in London, (Today’s HSBC), but soon realized his lack of interest in Banking. He left the job and started to write, alternating between England and the United States. In 1902, he received his first job as a journalist and began working with a newspaper The Globe where he was responsible for the comic column. His first novel The Pothunters was published in year 1902 followed by A Perfect Uncle in 1903, Love Among the Chickens in 1906, The Swoop in 1909 and P smith in The City in 1910.


Other novels The Prince and Betty and P Smith, Journalist came in 1914 and 1915 respectively. He resigned from the paper and began to write for Vanity Fair. Aside from this, he wrote stories for school magazines, and worked as a freelancer for magazines as Cosmopolitan and Collier’s. He also collaborated with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern and began writing lyrics for musical comedies. Around 1930, Wodehouse gained opportunities to work as screenwriter in Hollywood, for which he boasted to have received huge money. His novels were also published in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and The Strand which gave him further exposure and cemented his financial stability.

 Marriage & Children

 Wodehouse married Ethel Wayman in 1914 in New York. The couple did not have their own child and Wodehouse informally adopted Leonora, Ethel’s daughter from her previous marriage. It is also suggested that Wodehouse was rendered infertile after contracting mumps in his childhood- May be factor that he did not have any biological child. Leonora died during his internment in Germany.

 Life Abroad and Political upheavals

After the year 1914, Wodehouse kept on moving between England and the United States and settled in France in 1934. Even with the outbreak of World War II in 1939, instead of returning to his homeland, he decided to remain there- only to be arrested by the Germans in 1940. He was detained for almost one year during which he first kept in Belgium and then transferred to Tost (Toszek) in Upper Silesia. After his release, He spoke of his experience in Radio broadcasts to his fans in America from Berlin making small jokes. However, a war time England did not take these comments well and it led to speculations about his alleged collaboration with the Nazis.

 Now what was started with a foolish act of Wodehouse, turned into severe accusations and he was charged with treason. The government passed orders banning and censoring his books and several libraries in England removed his books from their shelves. He faced accusations and criticism from all sides. Still there were few people who defended him and tried to establish his innocence in the matter. Among them were Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell. Investigations ensued, and it was revealed that he was imprudent but not a traitor.

 Later Life & Death

However, the incident made him leave England permanently and Wodehouse and his wife settled in New York, where they lived in Remsen burg, Long Island until his death. They never returned to his homeland and became U.S. citizens in 1955. In 1975 Wodehouse was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, at the age of 93. The award was received by his wife on his behalf because of poor health condition.

 P.G. Wodehouse died on 14 February 1975 and now rests in the Remsen Burg Cemetery in New York State USA. His wife Ethel was buried next to him after her death in 1984. In 2000, The Bollinger everyman Wodehouse Prize was created dedicating it to him and is awarded for the best comic writing in the UK each year.



1881- Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was born on 15 October.

1894- He was admitted in to Dulwich College.

1900- He received his graduate degree.

1902- He received his first job as a journalist with The Globe.

1902- His first novel The Pothunters was published.

1914- Wodehouse married Ethel Wayman.

1934- He settled in France.

1939- World War II broke out.

1940- Wodehouse was arrested by the Germans.

1955- The Wodehouse couple became U.S. citizens.

1975- Wodehouse was knighted by the British Government.

1975- P.G. Wodehouse died on 14 February.

1984- His wife Ethel Died.

2000- The ‘Bollinger everyman Wodehouse Prize’ was created in UK.


Selected works:

The Pothunters, 1902

A Perfect Uncle, 1903

Tales of St. Austin’s, 1903

The Gold Bat, 1904

William Tell Told Again, 1904

The Head of Kays, 1905

Love Among the Chickens, 1906

The White Feather, 1907

Not George Washington, 1907

The Globe by the Way Book, 1908

Enter Psmith, 1909

Mike, a Public School Story, 1909

The Swoop! Or, How Clarence Saved England, 1909

Psmith in the City, 1910

The Intrusion of Jimmy, 1910

A Gentleman of Leisure, 1910

The Prince and Betty, 1912

A Thief for a Night, 1913 (play, with John Stapleton)

The Little Nugget, 1914

The Man Upstairs, 1914

Something Fresh, 1915.

The Man with Two Left Feet, 1917

Psmith, Journalist, 1916

Uneasy Money, 1917

Have a Heart, 1917

Leave it to Jane, 1917 (musical comedy with Kern and Guy Bolton)

Oh, Lady! Lady! 1918 (play, with John Bolton)

Piccadilly Jim, 1918 – film 1936, dir. by Robert Z. Leonard

A Damsel in Distress, 1919

Their Mutual Child, 1919

The Little Warrior, 1920

Sally, 1920 (play, with John Bolton)

The Coming of Bill, 1920

The Indiscretions of Archie, 1921

The Clicking of Cuthbert, 1922

The Girl on the Boat, 1922

Three Men and a Maid, 1922

Jeeves, 1923

Leave it to Psmith, 1923

The Adventures of Sally, 1923

Tales of St. Austins, 1923

The Inimitable Jeeves, 1923

Sitting Pretty, 1924 (play, with John Bolton)

Ukridge, 1924

A Prefects Uncle, 1924

Golf Without Tears, 1924

Bill the Conqueror, 1924

Carry On, Jeeves, 1925

Sam the Sudden, 1925

Oh Kay! 1926 (play, with John Bolton)

The Play’s the Thing, 1926 (play)

He Rather Enjoyed It, 1926

The Heart of a Goof, 1926

Her Cardboard Lover, 1927 (play)

The Small Barchelor, 1927

Carry On, Jeeves, 1927

Divots, 1927

Good Morning, Bill, 1928 (play)

Money For Nothing, 1928

Summer Lightning, 1929

Fish Preferred, 1929

Little Warrior, 1929

Very Good Jeeves! 1930

Mr. Mulliner Speaking, 1930

If I Were You, 1931

Big Money, 1931

Jeeves Omnibus, 1931

Hot Water, 1932

Doctor Sally, 1932

Nothing But Wodehouse, 1932

Heavy Weather, 1933

Mulliner Nights, 1933

Anything Goes, 1934

Thank You, Jeeves, 1934

Methuen’s Library of Humour: P.G. Wodehouse, 1934

Brinkley Manor, 1934

Mulliner Omnibus, 1935

The Inside Stand, 1935 (play)

Blandings Castle and Elsewhere, 1935

Enter Psmith, 1935

Laughing Gas, 1936

The Luck of the Bedkins, 1936

Young Men in Spats, 1936

Lord Emsworth and Others, 1937

Crime Wave at Blandings, 1937

Summer Moonshine, 1937

The Code of the Woorsters, 1938

Uncle Fred in Springtime, 1939

… Dudley is Back to Normal, 1940

Eggs, Beans, and Crumpets, 1940

Quick Service, 1940

Wodehouse on Golf, 1940

Money in the Bank, 1942

Joy in the Morning, 1946

Full Moon, 1947

Spring Feaver, 1948

Uncle Dynamite, 1948

The Mating Season, 1949

The Best of Wodehouse, 1949

Performing Flea, 1951

Nothing Serious, 1951

The Old Reliable, 1951

The Weekend Wodehouse, 1951

Pigs Have Wings, 1952

Angel Cake, 1952

Barmie in Wonderland, 1952

Bring on the Girls, 1953 (play, with John Bolton)

Ring for Jeeves, 1953

Performing Flea, 1953

Mike at Wrykym, 1953

Return to Jeeves, 1954

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, 1954

Bertie Woorster Sees It Through, 1955

America, I Like You, 1956

Something Fishy, 1957

Over Seventy, 1957

The Butler Did It, 1957

Coctail Time, 1958

Few Quick Ones, 1959

The Most of P.G. Wodehouse, 1960

Jeeves in the Offing, 1960

French Leave, 1960

Ice in the Bedroom, 1961

The Most of P.G. Wodehouse, 1961

Author! Author! 1962

Service with a Smile, 1962

A Gentleman of Leisure, 1962

Stiff Upper Lip, 1963

Frozen Assets, 1964

Biffens Millions, 1964

The Brinksmanship of Galahad Threepwood, 1965

Plum Pie, 1966

The World of Jeeves, 1967

The Purloined Paperweigh, 1967

Do Butlers Burgler Banks, 1968

Galahad at Blandings, 1969

A Pelican at Blandings, 1969

No Nudes Is Good Nudes, 1970

The Girl in Blue, 1970

Much Obliged, Jeeves, 1971

Jeeves and the Tie That Binds, 1971

A Prefects Uncle, 1972

Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin, 1972

The Bachelors Anonymous, 1973

The Plot That Thickened, 1973

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, 1974

The Golf Omnibus, 1974

The World of Psmith, 1974

The World of Ukridge, 1975

The Cat-Nappers, 1975

The World of Blandings, 1976

Jeeves, 1976

The Uncollected Wodehouse, 1976

Vintage Wodehouse, 1977

Sunset at Hundings, 1977

Wodehouse at Work to the End, 1977

Sunset at Blandings, 1978

Wodehouse on Wodehouse, 1980

Wodehouse on Crime, 1981

The World of Uncle Fred, 1983

Fore! 1983

The World of Wodehouse Clergy, 1984

The Hollywood Omnibus, 1985


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