Can you guess of whom we are writing?

He was born in 1881 and started writing in 1886 (he said he wasn’t sure what he did before that; “probably loafed” was his guess.)

 Along with Jerome Kern and Guy Bolton he invented the Broadway musical, or at least set the stage for it.

 He wrote 96 books and hundreds of short stories.

 When Queen Elizabeth was asked if she would like something for her birthday apart from the standard presentation gift, she answered “May I have the complete works of ____?”

Agatha Christie dedicated her Hallowe’en Party “To _____ – whose books and stories have brightened my life for many years. Also, to show my pleasure in his having been kind enough to tell me he enjoyed my books.”

 Evelyn Waugh said of him, “One has to regard a man as a Master who can produce on average three uniquely brilliant and entirely original similes to every page.”

 He wrote the following lines:

“The drowsy stillness of the afternoon was shattered by what sounded to his strained senses like G.K. Chesterton falling on a sheet of tin.”

“Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to speak French.”

“Some minds are like soup in a poor restaurant—better left unstirred.”

His best known works are the Jeeves and Wooster stories.

If you don’t know by now, the immortal genius in question went by the name of Pelham Grenville to his aunts, Plum to his friends, and P.G. Wodehouse to a multitude of devoted readers.

I remember when I first found Wodehouse. I was at a used bookstore scanning the shelves when the cover of a book jumped out at me. It was illustrated with a young man being served breakfast by his butler, (a gentleman’s personal gentleman, or valet as I was soon to learn) in a style evoking the 1920’s, a period that never interested me in the least. I put it back, but it kept calling me so I finally bought it. That night my wife suffered as I kept waking her up till at least 3 in the morning with my laughing. I have been a devoted fan ever since.

I can’t do justice to P.G. Wodehouse but I can say you must read him. Do it–you will thank me. Come in and we’ll recommend some good books to start with.

Here is a link to Hugh Laurie writing about how “Wodehouse saved my life.”

And Stephen Fry on PG Wodehouse

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