P. G.  Wodehouse

P. G. Wodehouse (Pelham Grenville Wodehouse) | First Editions

1881 - 1975

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE (15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975) was an English author, and one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century. His early novels were mostly school stories, but he later switched to comic fiction, creating several regular characters who have become embedded in the consciousness of generations growing up in the earlier part of the 20th century. They include: the feather-brained Bertie Wooster and his sagacious valet, Jeeves; the immaculate and loquacious Psmith; Lord Emsworth and the Blandings Castle set; the Oldest Member, with stories about golf; and Mr Mulliner. Wodehouse worked extensively on his books, sometimes having two or more on the go simultaneously. He would take up to two years to build a plot and write a scenario of about thirty thousand words. After the scenario was complete, he would write the story. Early in his career, Wodehouse could produce a novel in about three months, but in old age his production slowed to around six months.

During and after the First World War, together with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, Wodehouse wrote a series of Broadway musical comedies. These were an important part of the development of the American musical, and show Wodehouse to be a rather multi-talented fellow.

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