P. G. Wodehouse

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
P. G. Wodehouse (1903)

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (15 october 1881 - 14 february 1975) was a British writer well known for, amongst other works, the adventures of Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves. Richard Usborne, in Wodehouse at Work to the End [1], suggested that Professor Challenger's servant, Austin (in Conan Doyle's novel: The Poison Belt, 1913) was probably the inspiration behind Jeeves.

In december 1901 and march 1902, the 20 years-old Wodehouse, as a devoted fan of all Arthur Conan Doyle's work, wrote two Sherlock Holmes parodies: The Strange Disappearance of Mr. Buxton-Smythe and The Adventure of the Split Infinitive starring Burdock Rose and Dr. Wotsing. He also wrote an article: The Pugilist in Fiction which was mainly about the Conan Doyle's novel Rodney Stone.

1903 was a prolific year, he wrote a sherlockian parody: Dudley Jones, Bore-Hunter (29 april), two sherlockian poems: Back to his Native Strand (27 may) and The Parrot (20 october), an interview of Conan Doyle: Grit. A Talk with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (2 july) and a sherlockian pastiche: The Prodigal (23 september).

Wodehouse told at the end of his life : « Conan Doyle was my hero. Others might revere Hardy or Meredith. I was a Doyle man and I still am. »

Between 1903 and 1912, he played cricket with Conan Doyle in the Authors team, known also as The Allahakbarries as founded by J. M. Barrie. In the team were J. M. Barrie himself, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, P. G. Wodehouse or E. W. Hornung, the brother-in-law of Conan Doyle. In june 1902, Wodehouse admired Conan Doyle which was playing against the Royal Engineers in Chatham : « He was captain that day. A captain who is capable of bowling like that, and yet does not try his hand till fourth change, is no ordinary man. » [2]

Match results where Wodehouse and Conan Doyle played in the same team (Authors):

Authors v Artists cricket teams (22 may 1903)

In 1905, he wrote a poem about Sherlock Holmes complaining that Conan Doyle praised the Police Force : Sherlock Holmes's Lament published in The Daily Chronicle.

In 1906, Wodehouse wrote a short sherlockian play: Among the Immortals published in The World on 30 october.

In august 1912, Wodehouse asked Conan Doyle if he could visit Windlesham and bring an American woman journalist: « I have traded so much on my friendship with you that my reputation will get a severe jolt if you refuse it. » Conan Doyle accepted. [3]

Conan Doyle often sent laconic letter like « Yes. A.C.D. » or « No. A.C.D. » Once he sent a note to Wodehouse, who forgot to answer it and in a few days received this reminder on a post card: « ? A.C.D. » [4].

In september 1934, Wodehouse edited "A Century of Humour" (Hutchinson & Co.), a 1000-page book collecting several stories including the Conan Doyle's short story: The Parish Magazine, which was the only book in which it was collected at the time.

In the 1950s, Wodehouse wrote a comparison between Moriarty and Fu Manchu: Onwards and Upwards with the Fiends (16 february 1955), and a sherlockian pastiche: From A Detective's Notebook (20 may 1959).

There were hundred references to Sherlock Holmes/Conan Doyle in the Wodehouse writing career. See a comprehensive list from 1900 to 1922.

P. G. Wodehouse's works related to Conan Doyle









Misc. studies


  • Elementary, My Dear Wooster!, by J. R. Cox (BSJ, june 1967)


  • En Studie i Sherlock og Jeeves (Sherlockiana #16, 1971)

  1. Wodehouse at Work to the End, by Richard Usborne (Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1976). Several mentions of Conan Doyle's influence on Wodehouse.
  2. The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes, by Andrew Lycett (Free Press, 2007, p. 337-338)
  3. The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes, by Andrew Lycett (Free Press, 2007, p. 357)
  4. Conan Doyle: His Life and Art, by Hesketh Pearson (1943).