P.G. Wodehouse, Estate of
P G Wodehouse was born in Guildford on October 15, 1881, educated at Dulwich College from 1894 to 1900, and employed for two years by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in London. He then worked as a columnist for The Globe (a daily London evening newspaper) becoming the column’s editor before leaving in 1909, to start commuting between the USA, the UK and, later, France, in pursuit of his literary ambitions In 1914 he met and married an English widow, Ethel, in New York and inherited her daughter Leonora. In 1917 his career as a lyricist and librettist in American musical comedy (mainly with Jerome Kern and Guy Bolton) peaked with contributions to five shows running simultaneously on Broadway. This work continued during the 1920s and 1930s in both the USA (eg Anything Goes) and the UK (particularly with George Grossmith, Jnr, at the Winter Garden Theatre), alongside straight plays for both the British and American stage, two spells in Hollywood, and his regular fiction. Best known for his Jeeves and Wooster stories, he created a ‘Wodehouse world’ populated by exaggerated caricatures of Edwardian Society, with the Blandings Castle novels; the Golf stories; the Mulliner stories; the Drones Club stories; and various works about Ukridge, Psmith and ‘Uncle Fred’, the 5th Earl of Ickenham. In 1939 Wodehouse was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature (D.Litt) by Oxford University. After the war, Wodehouse and his wife settled in New York City, before moving permanently to Remsenberg, Long Island, where he died in hospital on February 14, 1975, six weeks after being awarded a knighthood.