The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women

The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women

by Mo Moulton


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A group biography of renowned crime novelist Dorothy L. Sayers and the Oxford women who stood at the vanguard of equal rights

Dorothy L. Sayers is now famous for her Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane detective series, but she was equally well known during her life for an essay asking "Are Women Human?" Women's rights were expanding rapidly during Sayers's lifetime; she and her friends were some of the first women to receive degrees from Oxford. Yet, as historian Mo Moulton reveals, it was clear from the many professional and personal obstacles they faced that society was not ready to concede that women were indeed fully human.

Dubbing themselves the Mutual Admiration Society, Sayers and her classmates remained lifelong friends and collaborators as they fought for a truly democratic culture that acknowledged their equal humanity. A celebration of feminism and female friendship, The Mutual Admiration Society offers crucial insight into Dorothy L. Sayers and her world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541644472
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 342,557
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Mo Moulton is currently a lecturer in the history department of the University of Birmingham. They earned their PhD in history from Brown University in 2010 and taught in the History & Literature program at Harvard University for six years. Their previous book, Ireland and the Irish in Interwar England, was named a 2014 "Book of the Year" by History Today and was the runner-up for the Royal History Society's 2015 Whitfield Prize for first book in British or Irish history. Moulton regularly writes for outlets such as The Atlantic, Public Books, Disclaimer Magazine, and the Toast. They live in London, UK.

Table of Contents

Main Characters ix

Introduction 1

Part I Oxford, 1912-1918

1 Arriving At Oxford 11

2 Mutual Admiration Society On Stage And Page 25

3 University Passions 41

4 Battlefronts 51

Part 2 Slough Of Despond, 1918-1929

5 Teach Or Marry? 69

6 Detection And Despair 83

7 Professional Motherhood 107

8 Sleepless Nights 131

Part 3 Head And Heart, 1929-1939

9 Departures And Reunions 145

10 Subversive Spinster 159

11 The Problem Of Marriage 169

12 Does It Please You? 185

13 What The Busman Wrought 201

Part 4 Visions of a New World, 1939-1945

14 War Breaks Out 215

15 Service And Identity 225

16 The Greengate Hospital 237

17 Running To Stand Still 247

18 Bridgeheads To The Future 255

Part 5 Masterworks and Legacies, 1946-1988

19 Friendships And Triumphs 275

20 Legacies 287

Conclusion 293

Acknowledgments 297

Notes 299

Bibliography 345

Index 357

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