SAYERS, Dorothy L.

(1893 - 1957)
“Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?" So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am seldom perfectly sober.” 

Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a novelist, poet, playwright, and Dante scholar.  She went up to Somerville College, Oxford in 1912, and in 1915 she won a first class honours degree in modern languages, although she was not actually awarded the degree until a few years later, when she became one of the first women to be accorded the honour.   She left academic life to work for Blackwells, and whilst there succeeded in publishing a book of poetry, Op I.  (1916), then going to London as a copywriter for Bensons in 1922. It was while she was in London that she started writing about a gentlemanly amateur detective named Lord Peter Wimsey, who first appeared in Whose Body? in 1923, and subsequently in 10 further novels and a number of short stories.  She used her experiences and memories of Somerville College and Oxford to add colour to the penultimate Wimsey novel Gaudy Night (1935).  In 1930 she helped to co-found The Detection Club, along with other crime luminaries as Agatha Christie and G.K. Chesterton, where they engaged to write detective fiction that would not rely on “divine revelation, feminine intuition, mumbo jumbo, jiggery-pokery, coincidence, or act of god”.  During the 1940s and until her death from heart failure in 1957 Sayers concentrated mainly on her Dante translations and expositions, and on essays expressing her humanist view of Christianity.

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 Dorothy L. SAYERS

Books by this author

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

SAYERS, Dorothy L.


Unnatural Death

SAYERS, Dorothy L.


Papers Relating to the Family of Wimsey

[SAYERS, Dorothy L.]


Five Red Herrings

SAYERS, Dorothy L.