P. G. Wodehouse

Playwright, Author

1881 – 1975

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Who was P. G. Wodehouse?

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE was an English humorist, whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed enormous popular success during a career that lasted more than seventy years, and his many writings continue to be widely read. Despite the political and social upheavals that occurred during his life, much of which was spent in France and the United States, Wodehouse's main canvas remained that of a pre- and post-World War I English upper class society, reflecting his birth, education and youthful writing career.

An acknowledged master of English prose, Wodehouse has been admired both by contemporaries such as Hilaire Belloc, Evelyn Waugh and Rudyard Kipling and by recent writers such as Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams, J. K. Rowling, and John Le Carré.

Best known today for the Jeeves and Blandings Castle novels and short stories, Wodehouse was also a playwright and lyricist who was part author and writer of 15 plays and of 250 lyrics for some 30 musical comedies, many of them produced in collaboration with Jerome Kern and Guy Bolton. He worked with Cole Porter on the musical Anything Goes, wrote the lyrics for the hit song "Bill" in Kern's Show Boat, wrote lyrics to Sigmund Romberg's music for the GershwinRomberg musical Rosalie and collaborated with Rudolf Friml on a musical version of The Three Musketeers. He is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Famous Quotes:

  • ...the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French.
  • Work, the what's-its-name of the thingummy and the thing-um-a-bob of the what d'you-call-it.
  • It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.
  • Routine is the death to heroism.
  • For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!
  • His was a life which lacked, perhaps, the sublimer emotions which raised Man to the level of the gods, but it was undeniably an extremely happy one. He never experienced the thrill of ambition fulfilled, but, on the other hand, he never knew the agony of ambition frustrated....
  • At five minutes to eleven on the morning named he was at the station, a false beard and spectacles shielding his identity from the public eye. If you had asked him he would have said that he was a Scotch business man. As a matter a fact, he looked far more like a motor-car coming through a haystack.
  • “As a sleuth you are poor. You couldn’t detect a bass-drum in a telephone-booth.”
  • The village of Market Blandings is one of those sleepy hamlets which modern progress has failed to touch... The church is Norman, and the intelligence of the majority of the natives palaeozoic.
  • Henry glanced hastily at the mirror. Yes, he did look rather old. He must have overdone some of the lines on his forehead. He looked something between a youngish centenarian and a nonagenarian who had seen a good deal of trouble.

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Oct 15, 1881
Also known as
  • P.G. Wodehouse
  • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
  • P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
  • Pelham G Wodehouse
  • Wodehouse, P.G.
  • Plum
  • J Walker Williams
  • P Brooke-Haven
  • C P West
  • Melrose Grainger
  • United States of America
  • United Kingdom
  • Dulwich College
Feb 14, 1975

on July 23, 2013


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