Clarence Threepwood, ninth Earl of Emsworth, amiable and
boneheaded peer, appears first in
a long, lean,
bald-headed, stringy man of about sixty with a reedy tenor voice,
a widower for 25 years. Called Fathead at Eton in the '60s.
Cleanshaven except in
Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best,
where he grows a beard. Ruler
of Blandings Castle, one of the oldest inhabited houses in
England, and owner of a black Berkshire sow named
Empress of Blandings in
Company for Gertrude,
Uncle Fred in the Springtime,
Pigs Have Wings,
Service With a Smile,
Galahad at Blandings,
A Pelican at Blandings,
Sunset at Blandings.
In Something Fresh he has a
sister Lady Ann Warblington, presumably a widow, who is
chatelaine of Blandings. In later stories a different sister,
Lady Constance Keeble, rules at Blandings Castle, succeeded
in this role by another sister, Lady Hermione Wedge, in
Full Moon and Galahad at Blandings.
His other autocratic sisters are variously
mentioned as Lady Charlotte (Jane's mother in The Crime Wave at Blandings),
Lady Julia Fish, Lady Dora Garland,
Lady Georgiana, Marchioness of Alcester,
Lady Jane (deceased—he is trustee of Jane's
daughter Angela in Pig-Hoo-o-o-o-ey!), and Lady Florence Moresby.
Lady Diana Phipps is the only sister who does not chew
broken bottles. An uncle Harold is mentioned in Full Moon,
another uncle—his mother's brother, named Alistair-in
Company for Gertrude.
Trustee of his nephew, Ronnie Fish, in Heavy Weather. Comes
from a long-lived family: his father was killed in the hunting-field
at 77; his uncle Robert lived till nearly 90; his cousin
Claude was nearly 84 when he broke his neck trying to jump
a five-barred gate. Hates and fears all secretaries including
The Efficient Baxter, whom his sister Connie is always thrusting
upon him as secretary, and the relatively harmless Sandy Callender,
forced on him by Hermione in Galahad at Blandings when she
takes over from Constance as chatelaine of Blandings castle.
A backwoods peer to end all backwoods peers, dines at the
Senior Conservative Club, of which he is a country member,
when in London (which he hates). His elder son is George, Lord Bosham,
his younger son Freddie. In The Custody of the Pumpkin he acquires
a telescope, his main preoccupation being not yet a sow but
a pumpkin. The love of his life, the Empress of Blandings
first appears in Pig-Hoo-o-o-o-ey!. Visiting Long Island for a niece's
wedding to Tipton Plimsoll in Birth of a Salesman,
he undertakes to sell richly bound encyclopedias of Sport and sells a gross of them
to Freddie's neighbor George Spenlow, who mistakes him for
a private detective. Just back from New York in Galahad at Blandings,
where he attended sister Constance's wedding to James R. Schoonmaker.
Fond of morning dips in his lake. Nature has
equipped him with a mind so admirably constructed for
withstanding the disagreeableness of life that, if an
unpleasant thought enters it, it passes out again a moment later.