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Sir P. G. Wodehouse (Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse) Biography

(1881–1975), (Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse), Strand Magazine, Punch, The Parrot and Other Poems, The Pothunters, Mike

jeeves blandings books psmith

British novelist and playwright, born in Guildford, Surrey, educated at Dulwich College. He began work as a bank clerk, but he soon began publishing stories in boys' magazines and other journals such as Strand Magazine and Punch. Much of his work from this period remains uncollected, though The Parrot and Other Poems (1988) contained some early light verse, whose ingenuity prefigured his later success. With his first novel, The Pothunters (1902), he became known as a writer of children's books of which the best-known are Mike (1909) and Psmith in the City (1910). It was with The Man with Two Left Feet (1917; short stories) that he introduced Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, and established his reputation as one of the finest humorists of his time. Eccentric aristocratic Edwardian characters such as Lord Emsworth, his pet sow the Empress of Blandings, Mr Mulliner, Psmith, the patrons of the Drones Club, and the formidable aunts abound through his ingenious plots. The Blandings books include Something New (1915), Leave it to Psmith (1923), Blandings Castle (1935), Lord Emsworth and Others (1937), Full Moon (1947), Pigs Have Wings (1952), A Pelican at Blandings (1969), and Sunset at Blandings (1977, unfinished). Jeeves and Wooster appear in Carry on, Jeeves (1925), Very Good, Jeeves (1930), Thank You, Jeeves (1934), Right Ho, Jeeves (1934), The Code of the Woosters (1938), Joy in the Morning (1946), The Mating Season (1949), and Much Obliged, Jeeves (1971). Other novels include Ukridge (1924), Meet Mr Mulliner (1927), Money for Nothing (1928), The Luck of the Bodkins (1935), Uncle Fred in the Springtime (1939), and Quick Service (1940). Wodehouse produced more than 120 books, including many plays and musical comedies, from 1911 to 1948. Trapped in France as the Second World War broke out, he was interned by the Germans in 1940, though he was approaching 60, and was soon released. He was not, however, allowed to leave Germany, and unwisely accepted an invitation to broadcast to America. These broadcasts—their publication long afterwards demonstrated their innocuous nature—caused some scandal in England, though G. Orwell and others defended Wodehouse vigorously. After the war he settled in America, taking American citizenship in 1955. Richard Usborne's Wodehouse at Work to the End (1976) describes his final productive decades; Frances Donaldson's P. G. Wodehouse (1982) is a biography.

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