The Corpus

About Lord Peter Wimsey

Wimsey, Peter Death Bredon, D.S.O.:
Born 1890, 2nd son of Mortimer Gerald Bredon Wimsey, 15th Duke of Denver, and of Honoria Lucasta, daughter of Francis Delagardie of Bellingham Manor, Hants.

Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford (1st class honours, Sch. of Mod. Hist., 1912); served with H.M. Forces 1914/18 (Major, Rifle Brigade).

Author of:
"Notes on the Collecting of Incunabula", "The Murderer's Vade-Mecum", etc.

Criminology; bibliophily; music; cricket

Marlborough; Egotists'

110A Piccadilly, W.; Bredon Hall, Duke's Denver, Norfolk.

Sable, 3 mice courant, argent; crest, a domestic cat crouched as to spring, proper; mottos: As my Whimsy takes me

--Who's Who Biography taken from Unnatural Death, 1987 Perennial Library Edition

The Corpus

The LordPeter list uses the term Corpus to refer to the entire body of the Lord Peter Wimsey books as written by Dorothy L. Sayers (some folk consider the novel completely by Jill Paton-Walsh to be Corpuscular, others don't.). The Corpus also includes all short stories as well as "The Wimsey Papers".


One fairly frequently asked question is which Lord Peter Wimsey books there are and in which order they should be read in.

There is no one answer, but we can provide you with a few suggestions. Many people do prefer to start at the beginning of the series and work their way through, so as to see the development of Lord Peter and other characters. Others like to start with the four Harriet Vane novels, and still others read them in no particular order at all. It's all up to you--no one is going to tell you that you've done it wrong.

All the short stories have been collected into one volume, Lord Peter, as well as being scattered throughout the various volumes of short stories. The individual volumes also contain Montague Egg stories as well as non-series stories.

Here's the Corpus in publication order and in order by internal chronology.

"The Wimsey Papers" were written by Sayers for The Spectator during World War II.

Here's the translation of the letters Uncle Paul writes to Harriet and Peter in Busman's Honeymoon.


There have been a number of audiocassette adaptations of the the Lord Peter Wimsey novels. There have been a variety of readers for these, including Ian Carmichael and Edward Petherbridge. Most of these editions seem to be readily available from a variety of sources.

Click here for a list of audiocassette editions available.

Film Adaptations

In the 1970's, the BBC produced several of the Lord Peter novels as a miniseries, starring Ian Carmichael. This included: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1972), Clouds of Witness (1973), Murder Must Advertise (1973), The Nine Tailors (1974), and The Five Red Herrings (1975).

In 1987, the BBC did another mini-series, this time starring Edward Petherbridge as Lord Peter and Harriet Walter as Harriet Vane. This mini-series combined Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, and Gaudy Night.

Click here for availability information.

There were two feature films made that featured Lord Peter Wimsey. The first, Silent Passenger (1935), isn't based upon any Corpuscular events. Haunted Honeymoon (1940), the second, is loosely based on Busman's Honeymoon and features Robert Montgomery in the title role. Neither of these films is available on video, but they are occasionally aired on classic film channels (TCM, AMC) in the States.

The Lord Peter Wimsey Companion

The Lord Peter Wimsey Companion by Stephan Clarke (our own Lord Mountweazle) has recently been revised and updated by the author and reissued by The Dorothy L. Sayers Society. This annotation of all of the Wimsey canon includes literary references, historical information, translations for all the non-English passages, maps, charts, and all new material from Thrones, Dominations, "Papers Relating to the Family of Wimsey" and "The Wimsey Papers".

For more information and instructions for ordering your copy, click here or talk to your local bookseller about ordering one for you (ISBN # 0-9518000-8-6). We would also urge you to request that your public library purchase a copy.

Questions about the LPWC should be directed to , and not the list moderators.