P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) spent much of his life in Southampton, New York, but was born in England and educated in Surrey. His roots were in England and his youth had been spent there: prep schools, Dulwich College, a spell in a bank, and years of freelancing as a journalist, novelist, short-story writer, lyricist, and playwright. He gained his dual citizenship in 1955 and lived more years of his life in America than he did in England. In a literary career spanning more than seventy years, he wrote more than ninety books, twenty film scripts, and collaborated on more than thirty plays and musical comedies. An expert humorist and a master of light verse, Sir Pelham Wodehouse died of a heart attack on St. Valentine’s Day 1987 at the age of ninety-three.
A message from Overlook Press publisher Peter Mayer, on the publication of The Collector’s Wodehouse Series
Wodehouse was that perfect Anglo-American: his subject was nearly always England, but he became an American and lived on Long Island. The Collector’s Wodehouse series is itself a wonderful amalgam of British and American, conceived by David Campbell at Everyman’s Library in London.
Wodehouse will always be part of our most joyous reading experiences. The Collector’s Wodehouse, when complete, will be the first complete hardback series of Wodehouse’s works by any one publisher. In every case, the editor has gone back to the first edition of each book and corrected errors that crept into the innumerable paperback editions. Each book has been re-typeset using that classic English typeface, Caslon. Further, these are printed on acid-free paper and are sewn and bound in full cloth. Andrzej Klimowski is the perfect illustrator for Wodehouse and both David Campbell and I are certain that no other Wodehouse collection will surpass or outlive this one.
Translated into more than thirty languages, even collected, we are told, by a Russian monk living in a hermit’s cell on Mount Athos, OGW and his stories are miracles in which we all share.
Critical Praise for P.G. Wodehouse
“P.G. Wodehouse is the gold standard of English wit.” –Christopher Hitchens
“All one can do is read [the Wodehouse books] and laugh like an idiot. To assist you in this, The Overlook Press is publishing a set of clothbound collector’s editions of the master’s work. They’re beautiful books, much welcome.” –Bookforum
“Wodehouse’s novels are the very definition of British humor—bubblingly witty and dryly loony. And as Overlook continues its reissue of these absurd soufflés, you can buy the work for yourself in suave hardcover volumes, the dusk jackets as natty as the prose.” –Entertainment Weekly
“Could a P.G. Wodehouse revival be more timely? The Overlook Press, which is reissuing Wodehouse’s comic novels, clearly has its finger on America’s pulse. With its sumptuously bound editions, The Overlook Press has done the master proud.” –Los Angeles Times
“Wodehouse is the greatest comic writer ever.” –Douglas Adams