Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dorothy L. Sayers!

Today is the birth date of one of the Grand Dames of the Golden Age of Mysteries - Dorothy Sayers (1893 - 1957). Though I was never as big a fan of hers as I am of Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh, I still am fan enough to say that I've read every Peter Wimsey mystery at some point in my life. Don't remember them much though, so I'm going to reread them yet again as time and inclination allows.

Recently I read one Wimsey I'd somehow overlooked the first time around - WHOSE BODY? - thanks to  the kindness of Bev at MY READER'S BLOCK sending it to me as 'prize' for finishing my level in the VINTAGE MYSTERY READING CHALLENGE. I'd forgotten how much I liked Bunter - the perfect manservant. We should all have a 'Bunter' in our lives. Or, at the very least, a Jeeves. (Though I'm embarrassed to say I've yet to read the Wodehouse books. I always mean to, but somehow I never do.)

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Dorothy Sayers! To read more about the author and her work, please go here.

To read more about Peter Wimsey, the character, please go here. Yes, he has his own Wikipedia page.

To see all the Peter Wimsey book titles, please go here.

My favorite television adaptation of the Peter Wimsey books is the one done in the 1970's, starring Ian Carmichael. I could watch those forever.


  1. I'm a HUGE fan of Lord Peter and you can listen almost daily to Ian C. over on BBC4Extra

    They're doing Unnatural Death this week.
    Hurry up!
    thanks Yvette...
    I love looking at my fav windslow Homer every now and then..

  2. Love Dorothy and Lord Peter. I really like that portrait of Dorothy. I've only seen her more recent pictures and she really looks like a spunky gal in this one.

  3. Terrific post for a wonderful author! Happy birthday, indeed, DLS!

    I've always loved Ian Carmichael as Wimsey too. And wish that the powers-that-be had actually started filming the Wimsey stories when they first talked about it--then maybe we would have gotten the full round of stories.

  4. Hello Yvette:
    For some reason, of which we are not entirely clear, we have never read any of Dorothy Sayers. This post has come as a timely prompt!

  5. Paris Breakfast: Thanks for dropping by and looking at your favorite Winslow Homer, Carol. :)

    AND thanks so much for the tip about the BBC radio's Peter Wimsey productions. I missed it. Somehow didn't see the comment until too late. I was exhausted last night and not seeing straight I suppose. HA!

    But I am definitely going to tune in and wee what the schedule is. I love Ian Carmichael's speaking voice.

  6. BookBelle: I love that portrait too. I was surprised to read that Sayers didn't really live to be very old. Early sixties is not old in my book.

    I always think of writers, artists and classical musicians/conductors as having the longest lives for whatever reason.

    I've also realized lately that she wrote more books than I remembered.

  7. Bev: I sort of remember that the Ian Carmichael series of Wimseys was done on video-tape? The indoor scenes, I think. The outdoor scenes looked slightly different, as if maybe they were done on film.

    It's been a long while since I've seen them. Maybe its time to check Netflix. :)

    I wish there were more of them, too.

  8. Jane and Lance: Oh well, then you have to rectify that immediately. :) Luckily most of the Sayers books are readily available. Thank goodness.

  9. Let me join the chorus of praise for Ian Carmichael as Wimsey - I think he caught the spirit and the appearance, too. I have always enjoyed all the Sayers novels, but I think my favorite still is "The Nine Tailors," which combines so many great mystery elements (including impossible crime) and some absolutely wonderful bellringing scenes. The bells have true personalities - which, in the context of the book, is completely right.

  10. Hadn't realized Sayers was quite so much the looker. Don't know that I've ever seen a photo of her before.

  11. Les: I kind of like THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB a bit more. (Did I get the name of the club right?) But I enjoyed THE NINE TAILORS very much.

    The later version of Wimsey I wasn't so crazy about. The actor just looked a bit too fussy and kind of a sad dumpling sort.

  12. Todd: This is a good photo. My favorite.

  13. Nine Taylors is my favourite Sayers. I've never seen any of the adaptions of her work though.

    Fascinating life she had. I have, if you don't mind my mentioning it, a cracking biography of Sayers in stock, by David Coomes.

  14. Juxtabook:

    Well, now you can listen to Ian Carmichael's incarnation of Wimsey on the BBC Radio. Good to know. :)

    Don't mind you mentioning your books at all, J.


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