Wodehouse's well-known gift for satisfying plots and comic surprises is evident on every page, but there are also signs of his debt to earlier writers in the realistic tradition. Set mainly in London or New York, many of the stories concern ordinary people - shopassistants, schoolmasters, secretaries, servants, unsuccessful writers - living the life of rented rooms and cheap cafes Wodehouse knew well from his own experience. Yet there is nothing sad or gloomy about these tales. Far from it: they are brimming with life and energy, beautifully written and invariably delightful. And for Wodehouse addicts there is also a goodly sprinkling of goofy young men about town and their valets to satisfy the strongest appetites
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (always known as `Plum') wrote about seventy novels and some three hundred short stories over 73 years. He is widely recognised as the greatest 20th-century writer of humour in the English language. Perhaps best known for the escapades of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Wodehouse also created the world of Blandings Castle, home to Lord Emsworth and his cherished pig, the Empress of Blandings. His stories include gems concerning the irrepressible and disreputable Ukridge; Psmith, the elegant socialist; the ever-so-slightly-unscrupulous Fifth Earl of Ickenham, better known as Uncle Fred; and those related by Mr Mulliner, the charming raconteur of The Angler's Rest, and the Oldest Member at the Golf Club. In 1936 he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for `having made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the happiness of the world'. He was made a Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1939 and in 1975, aged 93, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died shortly afterwards, on St Valentine's Day.