Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse — to friends — Plum — born October 15, 1881, Guildford, Surrey, SE Eng. — died February 14, on St. Valentine day, 1975, Southampton, N.Y., U.S..
Wodehouse received his education at Dulwich College, where he was a member of the school cricket team, (he would not lose interest in the local cricket tournament until many years later!). Also he practised boxing there. In this period he met gentry-folk which would serve as the main characters of his many books later.
Then he worked for two years for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, (he got the place through his father’s friends), bur he left to earn his living as a journalist and storywriter.
At 21, (1902), he started in the ‘By the Way’ column in the old Globe. Also he kept on sending his freelance stories and contributed a series of school stories to a magazine for boys, the Captain, (in one of which Psmith made his first appearance).
At the age of 28, not a long time before First World War, (1909), he went to America, (that was his second visit; his first had been in 1904) where he continued to write short stories and also critical reports for papers as theatrical critic. He made a serial for the Saturday Evening Post, (and for the next twenty-five years almost all his books make its first appearance in this magazine).
At that time Wodehouse met people close to musicals circles, and wrote lyrics and took part in the creation of musical shows. At the same time he did not abandon writing and wrote Psmith, Journalist (1912), Piccadilly Jim (1918).
At the age of 33, (1914), he married.
During the next few years Plum travelled with his shows and chose as his country of residence — France. (He lived alternately in the UK and the USA until 1934, when hestarted living in France.) 1930-1935 he lived near Cannes. (PGW rented a house near Cannes in March 1932 but he settled in Le Touquet in 1934).
In 1939 for services to the English language he received a doctor’s degree from Oxford University.
In the beginning of World War Two he was pursued by the French government during ‘spy hunts’. And when Nazi troops occupied France he was captured and interned in Germany.
After the war Plum continued to write books and took part not only in creating lyrics for musical comedies but tried his hand as a producer, (with differing degrees of luck).
In the early 1930s he was in the bad books of the Inland Revenue, (they could sue him for £25,000).
In 1955 (at the age of 74) all his problems were over and he took American citizenship and lived afterwards near New York surrounded by his Pekes.
In 1975 he was knighted by the Queen of Great Britain, and died shortly afterwards.
Short biography of Sir P. G. Wodehouse
© Copyright 1996-2001 The Russian Wodehouse Society
© Copyright 1996-2001 Michel Kuzmenko (GMK)
Original of this work is on the:
Formatted by: O. Dag
Last modified on: 2015-09-24