P.G. Wodehouse

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Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse ("Plum") (1881-1975) was an English humorous writer.

He is best known for two series of novels and short stories: those based upon the clueless man-about-town Bertie Wooster and his highly capable butler, Jeeves, who frequently saves Wooster from untimely engagements usually caused by misunderstandings; and those based on life at the idyllic Blandings Castle, home of the Earl of Emsworth and his prize-winning pig, the Empress of Blandings. Other series of stories centre on the ingenious sponger Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, the public house raconteur Mr Mulliner (and his improbably large family), the raffish Uncle Fred, Earl of Ickenham, the dapper Psmith, as well as a collection of golfing short stories (which follow much the same line as his other books).

Wodehouse was born in Guildford, Surrey, the son of a Hong Kong judge, and educated at Dulwich College, a public school (US = private school) in suburban London. After school he worked for a short time for the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank in London, before setting up as a full-time writer. His first published works were school stories for the comic paper The Captain. he also collaborated with Jerome Kern and Cole Porter on musical plays, writing the words for the song Bill in Show Boat. The first Jeeves and Wooster story was published in 1917 and the first Blandings story in 1915.

Between 1924 and 1940 Wodehouse lived at Le Touquet, France, and was interned by the invading German forces in 1940. Released from close captivity on his 60th birthday, he and his wife then lived at the Adler Hotel in Berlin for the rest of the war. After his release from internment Wodehouse made a number of recorded talks to be broadcast on German radio transmissions to the then-neutral United States, an act which earned him much condemnation and accusations of collaboration in the United Kingdom. Wodehouse was questioned by MI5 after the war and cleared of treasonable or malicious intent, but the experience dissuaded him from returning to the UK and he spent the rest of his life at Remsenburg, Long Island, New York, USA. He became an American citizen in 1955.