Wodehouse Memorial Dedicated in Westminster Abbey

Several papers carry the story of the dedication yesterday of a memorial plaque to P G Wodehouse in Westminster Abbey. This is from the Financial Times:

Nestled above playwright Noël Coward and to the right of broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, a memorial plaque to author and humorist PG Wodehouse was dedicated in London’s Westminster Abbey on Friday. Wodehouse admirers hope that the commemoration, only the fifth of its kind for an author in the last decade in the church where Britain’s monarchs are crowned, will complete his rehabilitation after controversy over broadcasts he made while detained in Nazi Germany clouded his later life. […]  Though he was cleared of wrongdoing by MI5, the domestic intelligence service, and defended by literary heavyweights such as Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell, Wodehouse never returned to Britain. He only received a long-blocked knighthood six weeks before his death in 1975. […] His memorial is in the south quire aisle of the abbey. A commemoration in the church is one of the highest honours for cultural figures in the UK. Physicist Stephen Hawking’s ashes were interred there last year, and poet Philip Larkin received a floor stone in 2016…

Similar stories appear in the Times and Daily Telegraph. Additional details of the ceremony were posted by the P G Wodehouse Society:

The stone will be dedicated by The Dean of Westminster. HRH The Duke of Kent, on behalf of The PG Wodehouse Society of which he is a Patron, will invite the Dean to receive the memorial into the safe custody of the Dean and Chapter. The Address will be given by the Society’s President, the TV personality, Alexander Armstrong. Hal and Lara Cazalet, son and daughter of Sir Edward, will sing, accompanied by Stephen Higgins. Lucy Tregear, Martin Jarvis and Alexander Armstrong will read extracts from Wodehouse’s works.

Waugh and Wodehouse corresponded with each other after the war, and Waugh also wrote several articles defending Wodehouse and praising his work. In 1961, Waugh appeared on the BBC Home Service and broadcast a talk later published in the Sunday Times and entitled “An Homage and Reparation to P. G. Wodehouse.” EAR, pp. 561-68.

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