Clarence Threepwood, 9th Earl of Emsworth, is a widower in his late 50s when he is first introduced. His seat is the spectacular Blandings Castle where his chief delight is to potter in his garden and raise vegetables and animals, most notably his sow the Empress of Blandings. He hates London and loves the country life. He is tall, thin, amiable when not under attack, and dresses very informally. He is vague, forgetful, and introverted; his dislike of quarrels makes him easy to bully when he cannot get away. Only some urgent cause, such as his prize pig's welfare, can give him a temporary period of intelligent thought and force of personality.
He was one of at least 13 children (ten girls), most of whom he would prefer never to see, especially Lady Constance and Lady Julia ("His idea of happiness was to be where Lady Julia Fish was not."). He has several children of his own, of which his second son, the Honorable Freddie, is his least favorite. ("The ninth Earl of Emsworth was not a man who was easily disturbed. His was a calm which, as a rule, only his younger son Frederick could shatter.") As Wodehouse describes him:
"At the open window of the great library of Blandings Castle, drooping like a wet sock, as was his habit when he had nothing to prop his spine against, the Earl of Emsworth, that amiable and boneheaded peer, stood gazing out over his domain." Leave it to Psmith
"The ninth Earl of Emsworth was a fluffy-minded and amiable old gentleman with a fondness for new toys."
"As frequently happened to her when in conversation with her brother, Lady Constance experienced a swimming sensation in the head."
"Lord Emsworth, who had not thought quickly since [...] the summer of 1874 [...]"
"'Of course I think so. Have you forgotten what I told you the other day?"
'Yes,' said Lord Emsworth. He always forgot what people told him the other day."
"How low an estimate Sir Geoffrey Parsloe had formed of his visitors' collective sanity was revealed by the fact that it was actually to Lord Emsworth that he now turned as the more intelligent of the pair."
"Lord Emsworth swayed gently. His brain, never strong one, had tottered perceptibly on its throne."