P. G. Wodehouse was born in Guildford in 1881 and educated at Dulwich College. After working for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank for two years, he left to earn his living as a journalist and storywriter, writing the 'By the Way' column in the old Globe. He also contributed a series of school stories to a magazine for boys, the Captain, in one of which Psmith made his first appearance. Going to America before the First World War, he sold a serial to the Saturday Evening Post, and for the next twenty-five years almost all his books appeared first in this magazine. He was part author and writer of the lyrics of eighteen musical comedies including Kissing Time. He married in 1914 and in 1955 took American citizenship. He wrote over ninety books, and his work has won world-wide acclaim, having been translated into many languages. The Times hailed him as a 'comic genius recognized in his lifetime as a classic and an old master of farce'.
P. G. Wodehouse said, 'I believe there are two ways of writing novels. One is mine, making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring real life altogether; the other is going right deep down into life and not caring a damn...' He was created a Knight of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours List in 1975. In a BBC interview he said that he had no ambition left now that he had been knighted and there was a waxwork of him in Madame Tussaud's. He died on St Valentine's Day in 1975 at the age of ninety-three.