In the whole delightful world of Wodehouse, the English clergy offers some of the richest sources of good-natured good humour. Confronted by burglars or belted earls, they plough serenely on with the Advent sermon or the opening of the village fete - until that is, they are swept further into plots which only a well-disposed devil or member of the Drones Club could have contrived. No bishop is more endearingly plump and pompous than a P.G. Wodehouse bishop, no vicar more a pillar of his community (provided his sermons aren't too long), no curate more sprightly, more green or more hopelessly in love. They may almost come to blows about the number of orphreys allowed on a chasuble, but in Wodehouse's eternal world the clergy is unquestionably on the right side of the angels.
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (always known as 'Plum') wrote more than ninety novels and some three hundred short stories over 73 years. He is widely recognised as the greatest 20th-century writer of humour in the English language. Perhaps best known for the escapades of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Wodehouse also created the world of Blandings Castle, home to Lord Emsworth and his cherished pig, the Empress of Blandings. His stories include gems concerning the irrepressible and disreputable Ukridge; Psmith, the elegant socialist; the ever-so-slightly-unscrupulous Fifth Earl of Ickenham, better known as Uncle Fred; and those related by Mr Mulliner, the charming raconteur of The Angler's Rest, and the Oldest Member at the Golf Club. In 1936 he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for 'having made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the happiness of the world'. He was made a Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1939 and in 1975, aged 93, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died shortly afterwards, on St Valentine's Day.