P.G. Wodehouse exhibition at The British Library

In 2016, I had the great privilege of visiting the home of P.G. Wodehouse’s grandson to see his extensive family collection of Wodehouse treasures, including drafts, completed manuscripts, letters, and Wodehouse’s own reading library.

As you might imagine, I was giddy with excitement throughout the visit. Highlights included Wodehouse’s edition of Shakespeare’s complete works (which he took with him when captured by the Nazis in France in 1940), letters from Agatha Christie and Richard Burton (among others), Wodehouse’s own reading library and comfy chair, and a 1961 Christmas gift from Evelyn Waugh inscribed to: ‘The head of my profession’ . Other treasures included Wodehouse’s own statue of the Infant Samuel at Prayer and a Cow Creamer, both significant artifacts for anyone familiar with his work.

In the space of a short visit, it was not possible to read many documents or examine every treasure, but much of this priceless collection has been on loan to the British Library since late 2016. They’ve had time to go over their haul, and are now ready to present it to the public in a new exhibition: P G Wodehouse: The Man and His Work.

This is a ‘must-see’ event for any Wodehouse fan who can get themselves to London, from 27 November 2018. The exhibition itself is free. The material on display will be entirely new for most fans — as we have no Wodehouse museum. If you’re in town on December 6th, Wodehouse expert Tony Ring will also be giving a talk on The Wit and Wisdom of P G Wodehouse.

I’m likely to miss this, due to being in the bally wrong hemisphere, but I look forward to the reports from other visitors.



10 thoughts on “P.G. Wodehouse exhibition at The British Library

  1. It just shows what a sophisticated world is that of The Great South Land today, when HP, resident in that onetime cultural desert, can know about PGW at the British Library – an event of which I, based only a few miles to the South, knew nowt. As another of the privileged band who browsed the PGW family archives, I can heartily commend the opportunity to all.
    PS – Never mind your isolation, HP – you have the footy Grand Final to cheer you……

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What ho, Murray!
      I do a lot of trawling online for Wodehouse stories, and this one wasn’t too easy to find.
      I hope you enjoy the exhibition — I’m excited to think there may be some ‘new’ treasures uncovered.
      Perhaps (if it’s not taking a liberty to ask) you might write a few lines about it, which I could share with others here at Plumtopia?


  2. Would so love to see this – wonder if the British Library could make it a permanent exhibit so someday I could visit … I, too, am in the wrong bally hemisphere!

    Liked by 1 person

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