Happy Birthday, P.G. Wodehouse

Wodehouse's birthplace, 59 Epsom Rd Guildford
Wodehouse was born at 59 Epsom Rd Guildford

‘P. G. Wodehouse was born on 15 October 1881, at 1 Vale Place, Epsom Road Guildford’ begins Frances Donaldson in her 1982 Authorized Biography, summing the matter up rather neatly.

The house in Surrey was not the Wodehouse home.The family lived in Hong Kong, where P.G.’s father Henry Wodehouse was a magistrate in the Colonial Civil Service. His mother Eleanor was visiting England, staying with a sister in the neighbouring village of Bramley. Eleanor was visiting friends in Epsom Road when the infant Plum popped out unexpectedly. The house is remembered today with a blue plaque over the door.

I’m grateful to have received detailed information about Wodehouse locations in England from Wodehouse expert N.T.P Murphy, whose essential work on the subject includes Three Wodehouse Walks and In Search of Blandings. If you fancy marking the occasion of Wodehouse’s birth with a little gift to yourself, I can recommend both books, as well as Murphy’s other Wodehouse related writing.

At my house, Wodehouse’s birthday provides the perfect excuse for me to stake a rare claim over the television and spend an evening revisiting one of the better adaptations. Tonight, I’m planning to watch the 1995 BBC adaptation of Heavy Weather, which is distressingly unavailable on DVD, but some worthy humanitarian has made it available via Youtube.If you’ve not seen it already, you have a real treat ahead of you.


13 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, P.G. Wodehouse

    1. Well spotted. It is indeed this Thursday so I’m a bit early, but I haven’t the stamina to watch a movie on a ‘school night’ in my dotage anyway. I hope you get the chance to watch Heavy Weather. It’s very good.


    2. Dear old Salutation Recipes, on Saturday I thought the 15th was looming. Then I was convinced the 15th was on Thursday. Now the blasted day has come upon us on Wednesday. I wish it would make up it’s mind. I don’t know how this could have happened, given that I sign my name and date on about 76,209 documents a day. But there you have it.


  1. Thanks for the early reminder. The foundations of 59, Epsom Road must have been laid by contented masons with a sunny disposition. The abode itself must have been designed by an architect who had a brilliant sense of humor.
    Wonder if you have Anatole’s cell number? He can be invited to dish out some mouth-watering items for the occasion – on Wednesday, perhaps?!


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