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Dorothy L. Sayers
Dorothy Leigh Sayers ( SAIRZ; 13 June 1893 – 17 December 1957) was a renowned English crime writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator, and Christian humanist. She was also a student of classical and modern languages.
She is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between the First and Second World Wars that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, which remain popular to this day. However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante's Divine Comedy to be her best work. She is also known for her plays, literary criticism, and essays.
Sayers was an only child, born on 13 June 1893 at the Headmaster's House, Christ Church Cathedral School, Oxford. Her father, the Rev. Henry Sayers, M.A., was a chaplain of Christ Church and headmaster of the Choir School. When she was six, he started teaching her Latin. She grew up in the tiny village of Bluntisham-cum-Earith in Huntingdonshire after her father was given the living there as rector. The church graveyard next to the elegant Regency rectory features the surnames of several characters from her mystery The Nine Tailors, and the nearby River Great Ouse and the Fens invite comparison with the book's vivid description of a massive flood around the village.
Jill Paton Walsh has published four novels about Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane: Thrones, Dominations (1998), a completion of Sayers' manuscript left unfinished at her death; A Presumption of Death (2002), based on the "Wimsey Papers", letters ostensibly written by various Wimseys and published in The Spectator during the Second World War; The Attenbury Emeralds (2010), based on Lord Peter's "first case", briefly referred to in a number of Sayers' novels; and a sequel The Late Scholar (2013) in which Peter and Harriet have finally become the Duke and Duchess of Denver.
- Wimsey appears (together with Hercule Poirot and Father Brown) in C. Northcote Parkinson's comic novel Jeeves (after Jeeves, the gentleman's gentleman of the P.G. Wodehouse canon).
- Wimsey makes a cameo appearance in Laurie R. King's A Letter of Mary, one of a series of books relating the further adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
- Sayers appears with Agatha Christie as a title character in Dorothy and Agatha , a murder mystery by Gaylord Larsen, in which a man is murdered in Sayers' dining room and she has to solve the crime.
- Wimsey is mentioned by Walter Pidgeon's character in the 1945 film Week-End at the Waldorf as one of three possible detectives waiting for him in the hall, outside the apartment of the character played by Ginger Rogers.
- Edward "Rubber Ed" French, the guidance counsellor of Todd Bowden in Stephen King's novella Apt Pupil thinks that Kurt Dussander (alias "Arthur Denker"), who pretends to be Todd's grandfather Victor Bowden, looks like Lord Peter Wimsey.
Op. I by Dorothy Sayers (poetry): digital.library.upenn.edu
The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy L. Sayers: Audio of this Essay
- Brabazon, James, Dorothy L. Sayers: a Biography (1980; New York: Avon, 1982)
- Dale, Alzine Stone, Maker and Craftsman: The Story of Dorothy L. Sayers (1993; backinprint.com, 2003)
Leavis, Q.D. (1937). "The Case of Miss Dorothy Sayers". Scrutiny. VI.
- McGregor, Robert Kuhn & Lewis, Ethan Conundrums for the Long Week-End : England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey (Kent, OH, & London: Kent State University Press, 2000)
Reynolds, Barbara, Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1993; rev. eds 1998, 2002)
- Sørsdal, Randi, From Mystery to Manners: A Study of Five Detective Novels by Dorothy L. Sayers, Masters thesis, University of Bergen, bora.uib.no
Prescott, Barbara, "Lyric Muse: The Oxford Poetry of Dorothy L. Sayers" (Glen Ellyn: August Press, Inc., 2016)
- Brown, Janice, The Seven Deadly Sins in the Work of Dorothy L. Sayers (Kent, OH, & London: Kent State University Press, 1998)
- Connelly, Kelly C. "From Detective Fiction to Detective Literature: Psychology in the Novels of Dorothy L. Sayers and Margaret Millar." CLUES: A Journal of Detection 25.3 (Spring 2007): 35–47
- Coomes, David, Dorothy L. Sayers: A Careless Rage for Life (1992; London: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1997)
- Dean, Christopher, ed., Encounters with Lord Peter (Hurstpierpoint: Dorothy L. Sayers Society, 1991)
- —, Studies in Sayers: Essays presented to Dr Barbara Reynolds on her 80th Birthday (Hurstpierpoint: Dorothy L. Sayers Society, 1991)
- Downing, Crystal, Writing Performances: The Stages of Dorothy Sayers (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)
- Gorman, Anita G., and Leslie R. Mateer. "The Medium Is the Message: Busman's Honeymoon as Play, Novel, and Film." CLUES: A Journal of Detection 23.4 (Summer 2005): 54–62
- Kenney, Catherine, The Remarkable Case of Dorothy L. Sayers (1990; Kent, OH, & London: Kent State University Press, 1992)
Lennard, John, 'Of Purgatory and Yorkshire: Dorothy L. Sayers and Reginald Hill's Divine Comedy', in Of Modern Dragons and other essays on Genre Fiction (Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2007), pp. 33–55.
- Loades, Ann. "Dorothy L. Sayers: War and Redemption." In Hein, David, and Edward Henderson, eds. C. S. Lewis and Friends: Faith and the Power of Imagination, pp. 53–70. London: SPCK, 2011.
- Nelson, Victoria, L. is for Sayers: A Play in Five Acts (Dreaming Spires Publications, 2012)
- Webster, Peter, 'Archbishop Temple's offer of a Lambeth degree to Dorothy L. Sayers'. In: From the Reformation to the Permissive Society. Church of England Record Society (18). Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge, 2010, pp. 565–582. . Full text in SAS-Space
- Young, Laurel. "Dorothy L. Sayers and the New Woman Detective Novel."CLUES: A Journal of Detection 23.4 (Summer 2005): 39–53
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