P. G. Wodehouse

P. G. Wodehouse: (Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse) (wŏŏd´hous´), 1881–1975, English-American novelist and humorist. After a short period, first working at a bank and then writing for a London newspaper, he became a full-time fiction writer. For over 70 years Wodehouse entertained readers with his comic novels and stories set in an England that is forever Edwardian and peopled with idiotic youths, feckless debutantes, redoubtable aunts, and stuffy businessmen. He was most famous for his many novels about the rich and hapless Bertie Wooster and his unflappable valet Jeeves. The "Jeeves" novels include The Inimitable Jeeves (1924), Bertie Wooster Sees It Through (1955), and Much Obliged, Jeeves (1971). Early in his career, Wodehouse was also a lyricist, writing some 400 songs, more than half of them in collaboration with Jerome Kern, and contributing to the books of several musicals by other composers, including Cole Porter's Anything Goes (1934). In all, over a period of eight decades, he wrote 96 novels, 18 plays, and lyrics for 33 musicals. In 1941, while he was a prisoner of the Germans, he made five nonpolitical broadcasts for his captors, provoking considerable criticism at home. Wodehouse, who from 1910 on had lived for long periods in the United States or France, immigrated to the United States in 1947, settled on Long Island, N.Y., and became an American citizen in 1955. He was knighted shortly before his death in 1975.

See his autobiographical Author! Author! (1962; originally pub. as Performing Flea, 1953) and his Over Seventy (1957); F. Donaldson, ed., Yours, Plum: The Letters of P. G. Wodehouse (1990) and S. Ratcliffe, ed., P. G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters (2012); B. Day and P. Ring, ed., P. G. Wodehouse in His Own Words (2001, repr. 2012); biographies by D. A. Jasen (1974), B. Green (1981), F. L. Donaldson (1982), and R. McCrum (2004); studies by R. A. Usborne (1961), R. B. D. French (1966), R. A. Hall, Jr. (1974), O. D. Edwards (1977), and B. Taves (2006).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Genius of Wodehouse
Kimball, Roger.
New Criterion, Vol. 19, No. 2, October 2000
FREE! Piccadilly Jim
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse.
A. L. Burt, 1916
Heavy Weather
P. G. Wodehouse.
Little, Brown, 1933
Cultural Symbolism in Literature
Robert A. Hall Jr.
Linguistica, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "P. G. Wodehouse's 'Bertie Wooster' Stories" begins on p. 71
The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell
Sonia Orwell; Ian Angus; George Orwell.
David R. Godine, vol.3, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "In Defence of P. G. Wodehouse" begins on p. 341
Tellers of Tales: 100 Short Stories from the United States, England, France, Russia and Germany
W. Somerset Maugham.
Doubleday, Doran, 1939
Librarian’s tip: "Uncle Fred Flits By" by P. G. Wodehouse begins on p. 920
Shakespeare's Grave: The British Fiction of Hollywood
Ames, Christopher.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 47, No. 3, Fall 2001
Living Authors: A Book of Biographies
Stanley Kunitz; Dilly Tante.
H. W. Wilson, 1935
Librarian’s tip: "P.G. Wodehouse" begins on p. 442
Comedy among the Modernists: P.G. Wodehouse and the Anachronism of Comic Form
Mooneyham, Laura.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 40, No. 1, Spring 1994
From Wodehouse to Wittgenstein: Essays
Anthony Quinton.
Carcanet, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Wodehouse and the Tradition of Comedy" begins on p. 318
Assignment to Berlin
Harry W. Flannery.
A.A. Knopf, 1942
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XVIII "Frozen Funds and the Wodehouse Banning"
His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle; Owen Dudley Edwards.
Oxford University Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Appendix contains three unsigned works by P. G. Wodehouse
Tin Pan Alley: An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song
David A. Jasen.
Routledge, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "P. G. Wodehouse' begins on p. 436
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