A Mulliner collection In the Angler's Rest, drinking hot scotch and lemon, sits one of Wodehouse's greatest raconteurs. Mr Mulliner, his vivid imagination lubricated by Miss Postlethwaite the barmaid, has fabulous stories to tell of the extraordinary behaviour of his far-flung family: in particular there's Wilfred, inventor of Raven Gypsy face-cream and Snow of the Mountain Lotion, who lights on the formula for Buck-U-Uppo, a tonic given to elephants to enable them to face tigers with the necessary nonchalance. Its explosive effects on a shy young curate and then the higher clergy is gravely revealed. Then there's his cousin James, the detective-story writer, who has inherited a cottage more haunted than anything in his own imagination. And Isadore Zinzinheimer, head of the Bigger, Better & Brighter Motion Picture Company. Tall tales all - but among Wodehouse's best.
The author of almost a hundred books and the creator of Jeeves, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge, Uncle Fred and Mr Mulliner, P.G. Wodehouse was born in 1881 and educated at Dulwich College. After two years with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank he became a full-time writer, contributing to a variety of periodicals. As well as his novels and short stories, he wrote lyrics for musical comedies, and at one stage had five shows running simultaneously on Broadway. At the age of 93, in the New Year's Honours List of 1975, he received a long-overdue Knighthood, only to die on St Valentine's Day some 45 days later.