“Jeeves—my man, you know—is really a most extraordinary chap,” wrote P.G. Wodehouse, and gave voice to a literary legacy that stretched far beyond his lifetime. An English humorist, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881-1975) is perhaps best known as the creator of comedic duo Bertie Wooster and his sharp-witted valet, Jeeves, who appeared together in 11 novels and 35 short stories. His humor prodded at the eccentricities of the gentlemanly upper-class, and his poetic writing style captured the attention of audiences around the world. Wodehouse, a prolific writer if there ever was one, published more than 90 novels and 200 short stories in his lifetime, solidifying his place in the English literary canon and in the hearts of his readers.
The present collection encompasses an extraordinary array of material that spans Wodehouse’s entire career, from his earliest forays into publishing in the 1890s, to the 1970s when he published his last works. William Toplis was a Philadelphia native, veteran of the US Navy, dedicated teacher, and—in true Bertie Wooster fashion—a fervent collector of bespoke suits. His high standards and love for the author’s work allowed him to build a collection without peer. Diligently researched and covering both his literary work as well as his work for the stage, the collection encompasses first editions, manuscripts, original art, sheet music, libretti, scripts, and much more. In its breadth, it charts the author’s trajectory from aspiring writer to world-renowned author.