P.G. Wodehouse Ph.D

P.G. Wodehouse Ph.D


Who is P.G. Wodehouse?

Pelham Grenville (P.G.) Wodehouse is considered one of the greatest 20th century humoristic writers in the English language. His works have been translated in more than thirty languages and still are widely read. His works are still reprinted. In 2018 four of his novels have been translated in simplified Chinese. All over the world “Wodehouse Societies” are flourishing.

Since I am 18 years old, I consider myself a Wodehouse aficionado and in 1984 I joined the Dutch Wodehouse Society as a member.

Wodehouse was born in an upper-middle class family, on the 15th of October 1881 in Guildford, England and died on the 14th of February 1975 in the United States.

During his life Wodehouse wrote more than three hundred short stories, sixteen plays and the lyrics of twenty-eight musical plays. Wodehouse wrote thirty-six public school stories for Edwardian Boys’ magazines.

Wodehouse wrote ninety-six novels. Wodehouse’s novels can be defined as comic situational novels and cover a period from 1902-1975. He published his first novel The Pot Hunters in 1902. His last unfinished novel Sunset at Blandings was – posthumously – published in 1977.

During his life Wodehouse lived -alternatively- in England, The United States and France. In the Second World War he was interned in Poland and lived a short time in Germany. Wodehouse was wrongfully accused of collaboration with the Nazi’s. After the Second World War he never set foot in England again. He obtained an American citizenship in 1955.

About a year ago I toyed with the idea of obtaining a Ph.D degree.

In my view an absolute prerequisite for an – approximately- 6 year external Ph.D study is that the subject of the research must be of great interest to the researcher.

I have a Dutch degree in Law (mr.) so the obvious choice for a Ph.D research would be in the field of the law. The choice of Wodehouse is obvious.

As I was struggling with a methodology for my research that was acceptable in law, more and more I realised that the angel of incidence for a methodology should not be a lega one, but a literary one, a literary theory or critic that can be applied to the works of Wodehouse.

I wrote a draft research proposal and approached several professors in The Netherlands for supervision. Unfortunately, most of them are to busy to supervise me. Next week, however, I have a first appointment with a Dutch professor in English literature at the Radboud University Nijmegen, my Alma Mater, to talk about my proposal.

To be continued…


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