Dorothy L. Sayers

All about Dorothy L. Sayers, bio, pictures, links to books

Dorothy L. Sayers

Dorothy L. Sayers

Oxford-educated Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957) was one of the most popular authors of the Golden Age era. Born in England in 1893, Dorothy Sayers received her degree at university in medieval literature. Following her graduation, besides publishing two volumes of poetry, she began to write detective stories to earn money.

Her first novel, “Whose Body?” (1923), introduced Lord Peter Wimsey, the character for which she is best known. Wimsey, with his signature monocle and somewhat foppish air, appeared in eleven novels and several short stories. Working with his friend, Inspector Parker of Scotland Yard, Wimsey solved cases usually involving relatives or close friends.

Dorothy L. Sayers was well known for “combining detective writing with expert novelistic writing,” and the imaginative ways in which her victims were disposed of. Among the many causes of death seen in her novels were, among others, poisoned teeth fillings, a cat with poisoned claws, and a dagger made of ice! (The Whodunit)

Dorothy Sayers also edited several mystery anthologies collected under the heading “The Omnibus of Crime” (1929), which included a noteworthy opening essay on the history of the mystery genre.

Later on in her life, Dorothy Sayers gave up detective fiction to pursue her other interests. She spent the last years of her life working on an English translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, having always claimed that religion and medieval studies were subjects more worthy of her time than writing detective stories.


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