About Dorothy L. Sayers

Biography

As well as creating the famous fictional detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L. Sayers was a playwright, essayist, Christian scholar, and one of the first women to receive a degree from Oxford University. The first Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Whose Body?, appeared in 1923. More short stories and novels appeared over the next twenty years, after which Sayers retired her sleuth to focus on what she considered to be her real work: her religious studies and translations. Nevertheless, she is recognized as one of the greatest mystery writers of the twentieth century, often mentioned in the same breath as Christie, Marsh, and Tey.

A short biography and photograph of her can be found here.

In addition to the Lord Peter Wimsey stories, Dorothy L. Sayers was a prolific playwright, theologian, and translator.

There have been a fair number of biographies written about Dorothy L Sayers, but the best is widely recognized to be Dorothy L Sayers: Her Life and Soul, by Barbara Reynolds. Click here for more complete information.

Her World

Sayers was born prior to the first World War, and came of age as it started. England and the rest of Europe were deeply affected by this conflict--much more so than most Americans think. Lord Peter Wimsey himself is a veteran of this war, and has periodic bouts with shell-shock (what we now call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Here are some accounts of England and Oxford University written by a contemporary of Dorothy L. Sayers, Vera Brittain. This information was culled and posted to LordPeter by Ruth E. Mills (Miss Haydock). Vera Brittain's books (including Testament of Youth) are highly recommended reading.