Happy Birthday, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
October 15 is a day of special significance for us P.G. Wodehouse fans the world over. It was on this day in 1881 that Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE was born in Guildford in England. Sir Pelham (popularly called “Plum” by his friends and admirers) was one of the world’s most prolific writers until he passed away in February 1975, a little over 93 years of age.
In his long life as a writer spanning some seven decades, Wodehouse wrote 96 books, carving out a place in history as one of the finest writers of comedy the world has ever seen. To my mind, his writing was truly incomparable. His characters were timeless, appealing to new generations of readers over the decades. Most of his books were set in England in the period between the two World Wars. The famous writer, Evelyn Waugh said of him “ Mr. Wodehouse's idyllic world can never stale.”
Some of his characters like Bertie Wooster, Jeeves, and Lord Emsworth have become legends. In fact, Wodehouse created so many colorful and interesting characters that there are many books written about him and his writings. Terry Mordue has a comprehensive list here.
If you are not yet a fan of The Master, as we ardent fans call him, you might like to have a peep at some quotations from his writings available at Good Reads.
I have been a Wodehouse fan for some 45 years and to me his writing is as refreshing as one of Jeeves’ special Pick Me Ups or as invigorating as a large swig of Mulliner’s Buck-u-Uppo, if you know what I mean!
Wodehouse’s spirits remained high till the very end. This old but memorable interview by Gerald Clarke in the Paris Review brings back nostalgia. If you wish to be part of a group of like-minded fans of Wodehouse, you might like to consider joining The Wodehouse Society.
To fulfill my dream of writing a book on Wodehouse. I have started work in my first foray into non-fiction, which I shall call “A Toast To Plum”.
Keen cricket fan that you were, I end by raising a toast to you, Sir Pelham. You are 130 not out, today.