The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers, 1899-1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist

Overview

This second volume of Dorothy L. Sayers' letters covers the seven years in which the greatest detective novelist of the golden age turns away from mystery writing to become a playwright and, in turn, a controversial figure.

As P. D. James writes in her preface to The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1899- 1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist, 'Dorothy L. Sayers, novelist, poet, dramatist, amateur theologian and Christian apologist, is one of the most versatile ...

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Overview

This second volume of Dorothy L. Sayers' letters covers the seven years in which the greatest detective novelist of the golden age turns away from mystery writing to become a playwright and, in turn, a controversial figure.

As P. D. James writes in her preface to The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1899- 1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist, 'Dorothy L. Sayers, novelist, poet, dramatist, amateur theologian and Christian apologist, is one of the most versatile writers of her generation; she is also one of the most controversial." The letters, edited by her biographer, Barbara Reynolds, end during the year she gave up writing mysteries-featuring detective Lord Peter Whimsey-to concentrate on writing religious plays and her translation of Dante. Born in 1893, Sayers died in 1957.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Reynolds has written two biographical works on the English detective novelist Sayers (1893-1957) and also completed the translation of Dante's Inferno begun by Sayers at the end of her life. This book is the first of two volumes of Sayers's correspondence, selected and edited by Reynolds, with an introduction by P.D. James. The volume begins with Sayers's childhood letters to friends and family, follow her to the Godolphin School and to Oxford, and then chronicle her years of teaching, working in an advertising agency, bearing a child out of wedlock, getting married, and starting a writing career. Readers of Sayers's fiction (e.g., Murder Must Advertise, 1933) will enjoy learning about events in her life that made their way into her fiction, and they will not be surprised to find that Sayers was quite a literate and lucid letter writer. Recommended for literature collections and where there is an interest in the writer.-Denise Johnson, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, Ill.
Booknews
A collection of Sayers' youthful letters portraying an ambitious, intelligent girl flowering into an equally ambitious and witty young woman. Often characterized as "aloof" these letters show a different side of the detective novelist who also wrote poetry and had a keen interest in theology. Among the letters are those to the man who jilted her, and the illegitimate son whom she could not acknowledge publicly, making the formidable novelist more understandable within the context of life experience. An introduction by P.D. James and notes by Barbara Reynolds round out the letters and the life. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312140014
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 421
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers
Dorothy L. Sayers
A refined author with a talent for wry mysteries spiced with quotations of verse and observations about English society, Dorothy L. Sayers created aristocratic sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. Though best known for her entertaining crime novels, the lively minded Sayers also wrote plays, poetry and essays on Christianity.

Biography

Dorothy L. Sayers, the greatest of the golden age detective novelists, was born in Oxford in 1893. She was one of the first women to be awarded a degree by Oxford University and worked as a copywriter in an advertising agency from 1921 to 1932. Her aristocratic detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, became one of the most popular fictional heroes of the twentieth century. Dorothy L. Sayers also became famous for her religious plays, notably The Man Born to be King, which was broadcast controversially during the war years, but she considered her translation of Dante's Divine Comedy to be her best work. She died in 1957.

Author biography courtesy of St. Martin's Press.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Dorothy Leigh Sayers (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 13, 1893
    2. Place of Birth:
      Oxford, England
    1. Date of Death:
      December 17, 1957

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
1937: Behind the Scenes 7
1938: Response to a New Public 66
1939: The Crisis of War 104
1940: A False Start 144
1941: The Mind of a Maker 217
1942: A Landmark in Broadcasting 339
1943: Responsibilities of Fame 383
APP Particulars of the Birth of John Anthony 437
Index 443
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