Writers

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P. G. Wodehouse

1881-1975

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (15 October 1881–14 February 1975) was an English author and one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century.

Mother and son sailed for Hong Kong, where for his first two years Wodehouse was raised by a Chinese amah (nurse), alongside his elder brothers Peveril (1877–1951) and Armine (1879–1936).[7][n 2] When he was two, the brothers were brought to England, where they were placed under the care of an English nanny in a house adjoining that of his father and mother.[4] The boys' parents returned to Hong Kong and became virtual strangers to their sons. Such an arrangement was then normal for middle-class families based in the colonies.[9] The lack of parental contact, and the harsh regime of some of those in loco parentis, left permanent emotional scars on many children from similar backgrounds, including the writers Thackeray, Saki, Kipling and Walpole.[10]

Throughout their school years the brothers were sent to stay during the holidays with various uncles and aunts from both sides of the family. In the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Iain Sproat counts twenty aunts and considers that they played an important part not only in Wodehouse's early life, but, thinly disguised, in his mature novels, as the formidable aunts who dominate the action in the Wooster, Blandings, and other stories.

His early novels were mostly school stories, but he later switched to comic fiction, creating several regular characters who became familiar to the public over the years. They included the feather-brained Bertie Wooster and his sagacious valet, Jeeves;

Wodehouse was a prolific writer throughout his life, publishing more than ninety books, forty plays, two hundred short stories and other writings between 1902 and 1974.