Lord Wimsey & Dorothy L. SayersPosted: February 22, 2012 | |
Over the weekend, I finally watched Downton Abbey. (wow.) The world the Crawleys live in reminded me very much of Lord Peter Wimsey, the creation of Dorothy L Sayers. Ms. Sayers was a British author in the early 20th century. Educated at Oxford prior to the era when women were awarded degrees, she was among the first group to receive their official MA in 1920. The daughter of a Curate, she was VERY well read & classically educated, and prided herself more on her translations of Dante than her own very popular writing.
Her mysteries are a tad more racy than Agatha Christie (Lord Peter likes the ladies, in a very understated, upper crust kind of way), but again, not graphic by any means in today’s world. They occur in the 1920’s-1940’sBritain, and contain lots of class and societal tension. Several of her novels addressed more than “Who done it?” and touched on women’s roles/education, the difficulties of WWI vets, and religion.
Along the way, Sayers got hit with a lot of criticism which comes off as rather snobby to me. Most of it came from academics or folks who totally dismissed her just because she wrote mysteries. Bah-humbug. If you don’t like mysteries, fine. If you think the writing itself is crappy, that’s another thing.
Her works continue to be popular, and there is a Dorothy L Sayers Society.
This website had a chronological list of all the Lord Peter stories, (they were written out of order…)
And Wikipedia had a good, well sourced bio with more info on her other works.