PG Wodehouse, Guildford-born creator of Jeeves, to be honoured at Westminster Abbey

October 15, 2018
By

Guildford-born comic writer PG Wodehouse is to be honoured with a memorial plaque in Westminster Abbey.

The author, most famous for creating the hapless Bertie Wooster and his dependable valet Jeeves, was knighted in 1975 and will now have his name etched alongside the likes of Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.

According to The Times, the dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall, has given permission for the memorial and a dedication will take place next year, although the location of the plaque is not yet known.

Wodehouse was born in Guildford in 1881 and was hugely popular in his lifetime, publishing more than 90 books, 40 plays and 200 short stories.

PG Wodehouse in Guildford

Wodehouse’s time in Guildford was brief. He was born on October 15 1881 at 59 Epsom Road, where he is commemorated with a brown plaque.

His parents in fact lived in Hong Kong, where his father was a magistrate, but his mother was visiting her sister in Guildford when he was born prematurely.

He was then baptised at St Nicolas’ Church in the town centre, receiving the first names Pelham Grenville.

GLP_SAH_SA163486_88.JPG

He was more often known to friends and family as “Plum”, and later wrote that he disliked his names, saying: “If you ask me to tell you frankly if I like the name Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, I must confess that I do not…I was named after a godfather, and not a thing to show for it but a small silver mug which I lost in 1897.”

Perhaps he was drawing on personal experience when, in 1954’s Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, he has Bertie Wooster remark: “There’s some raw work pulled at the font from time to time, is there not?”

“There is indeed, sir,” Jeeves replies.

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie

However, he was also a figure of controversy during the Second World War when he made a series of broadcasts from German radio to America, having been released from internment by the Nazis, initially in France and then in Germany.

The broadcasts were not political and a later enquiry found him innocent of any malice, but at the time he was criticised for aiding the Nazi war effort and threatened with prosecution.

He left to live in the USA after the war, where he remained until his death in 1975 at the age of 93. He is buried in New York City.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/pg-wodehouse-guildford-born-creator-15282731


Famous Words of Inspiration...

Tags: