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Dorothy Sayers's impressive reputation as a contemporary master of the classic detective story is eclipsed only by Agatha Christie's. Sayers was born in Oxford and attended Somerville College, where she received a B.A. in 1915 and an M.A. in 1920. During that period, Sayers worked as an instructor of modern languages at Hull High School for Girls in Yorkshire and as a reader for a publisher in Oxford. Her early literary work was in poetry; she published several volumes and served as an editor for the journal Oxford Poetry from 1917 to 1919. Sayers also worked as a copywriter for a major advertising firm in London. She was president of the Modern Language Association from 1939 to 1945 and of the Detection Club in the 1950s. Around 1920 Sayers developed the idea for her detective hero Lord Peter Wimsey, and she soon published her first mystery, Whose Body? (1923), in which Lord Peter is introduced. For the next dozen or so years, Sayers wrote prolifically about Wimsey, creating in the process what many critics of the genre consider to be the finest detective novels in the English language. Perhaps her most famous Wimsey mystery was The Nine Tailors (1934). Although Sayers essentially followed the classic form in her detective fiction---a formula in which the plot assumes a greater importance than do the characters---Sayers maintained that a detective hero's greatness depended on how effectively the character was portrayed. All but one of Sayers's mysteries feature Lord Peter Wimsey. By the late 1930s, Sayers had apparently tired of writing detective fiction. She stated in 1947 that she would write no more mysteries, that she wrote detective fiction only when she was young and in need of money. Thus saying, Sayers turned her attention to her early loves, medieval and religious literature, spending her remaining years lecturing on and translating Dante (see Vol. 2). (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Gaudy Night
… (more)
Gaudy Night 4,978 copies, 133 reviews
Whose Body? 4,412 copies, 173 reviews
Strong Poison 4,094 copies, 101 reviews
The Nine Tailors 3,967 copies, 110 reviews
Murder Must Advertise 3,462 copies, 99 reviews
Clouds of Witness 3,315 copies, 91 reviews
Have His Carcase 3,050 copies, 63 reviews
Unnatural Death 2,865 copies, 73 reviews
The Five Red Herrings 2,566 copies, 61 reviews
Thrones, Dominations 1,587 copies, 45 reviews
Lord Peter Views the Body 1,584 copies, 38 reviews
Hangman's Holiday 1,439 copies, 25 reviews
The Documents in the Case 1,439 copies, 27 reviews
The Mind of the Maker 1,138 copies, 12 reviews
A Presumption of Death 900 copies, 33 reviews
The Man Born to Be King 553 copies, 4 reviews
Are Women Human? 462 copies, 9 reviews
The Omnibus of Crime (Editor) 190 copies, 2 reviews
The Lost Tools of Learning 131 copies, 1 review
Unpopular Opinions 94 copies, 1 review
A Treasury of Sayers Stories 54 copies, 1 review
The Third Omnibus of Crime (Editor) 43 copies
Lord Peter Takes the Case 40 copies, 1 review
The Wimsey Papers 32 copies, 2 reviews
Stories of the Supernatural 30 copies, 2 reviews
The Best Crime Stories Ever Told (Editor) 25 copies, 1 review
Clouds of Witness (BBC Audio Drama) (Original author) 23 copies
The Travelling Rug 22 copies, 1 review
Even the Parrot 18 copies
Why Work? 17 copies
Talboys [short story] 10 copies, 1 review
Op. I. 5 copies
Strong Meat 4 copies
Peter Wimsey historier 4 copies, 1 review
Kriminalhistorier 4 copies, 1 review
The Story of Easter 2 copies, 1 review
[No title] 2 copies
Kärbes 2 copies
Detective omnibus 1 copy, 1 review
Her Oxford 1 copy
Inferno (Translator, some editions) 20,966 copies, 200 reviews
The Divine Comedy (Translator, some editions) 18,449 copies, 172 reviews
Purgatorio (Translator, some editions) 6,406 copies, 48 reviews
Paradiso (Translator, some editions) 5,349 copies, 40 reviews
The Song of Roland (Introduction, some editions; Translator, some editions) 4,801 copies, 37 reviews
The Floating Admiral (Contributor) 694 copies, 23 reviews
English Country House Murders (Contributor) 433 copies, 11 reviews
The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories (Contributor) 367 copies, 4 reviews
Stories Not for the Nervous (Contributor) 262 copies, 2 reviews
A Treasury of Great Mysteries (Contributor) 261 copies, 3 reviews
Detective Stories (Story Library) (Contributor) 237 copies, 1 review
Crime Stories from the Strand (Contributor) 206 copies, 2 reviews
The Scoop / Behind the Screen (Contributor) 190 copies, 2 reviews
Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries (Contributor) 184 copies, 15 reviews
Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense (Contributor) 170 copies, 3 reviews
Ask a Policeman (Contributor) 167 copies, 4 reviews
A Treasury of Great Mysteries [Volume 2] (Contributor) 165 copies, 2 reviews
Six Against the Yard (Contributor) 125 copies, 3 reviews
Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith (Contributor) 115 copies, 2 reviews
Blood on the Tracks (Contributor) 115 copies, 10 reviews
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (Contributor) 107 copies
Ten Great Mysteries (Contributor) 94 copies, 1 review
A New Omnibus of Crime (Contributor) 90 copies, 2 reviews
Great British Detectives (Contributor) 86 copies
Murder for Christmas, Vol. 2 (Contributor) 78 copies
The Mammoth Book of Great Detective Stories (Contributor) 75 copies, 1 review
More Stories to Remember, Volume I (Contributor) 70 copies, 1 review
Religious Drama 1 (Contributor) 68 copies
More Mystery Cats: Feline Felonies (Contributor) 67 copies, 1 review
The Descent into Hell (Penguin Epics) (Translator) 66 copies, 1 review
Purr-Fect Crime (Contributor) 56 copies
Three Times Three: A Mystery Omnibus (Contributor) 56 copies, 2 reviews
The Measure of Malice: Scientific Mysteries (Contributor) 54 copies, 5 reviews
14 Great Detective Stories (Contributor) 53 copies, 1 review
The Twelve Crimes of Christmas (Contributor) 51 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Classic Crime Omnibus (Contributor) 49 copies
The Anatomy of Murder (Contributor) 47 copies
Baker Street Studies (Contributor) 46 copies, 1 review
Detective Duos (Contributor) 43 copies, 1 review
Crime on the Coast [and] No Flowers by Request (Contributor) 42 copies, 2 reviews
The edge of the chair; [anthology] (Contributor) 40 copies, 1 review
Murder on the Railways (Contributor) 38 copies, 2 reviews
Unsolved! Classic True Murder Cases (Contributor) 36 copies
The Portable Murder Book (Contributor) 31 copies, 2 reviews
65 Great Murder Mysteries (Contributor) 31 copies
Murder Short & Sweet (Contributor) 28 copies, 2 reviews
The Mystery Book (Contributor) 26 copies
Famous Stories of Code and Cipher (Contributor) 25 copies
Bodies from the Library 3 (Contributor) 21 copies
The Pocket Book of Great Detectives (Contributor) 21 copies, 1 review
Great detective stories (Contributor) 20 copies
The Best Horror Stories (Contributor) 19 copies
A Century of Detective Stories (Contributor) 18 copies
Murder in Midwinter (Contributor) 16 copies
Lethal Black Book (Contributor) 16 copies
Ten Tales of Detection (Contributor) 12 copies
Master of the MacAbre (Contributor) 12 copies
Prince of Darkness (Contributor) 12 copies
Crime and Detection (Contributor) 11 copies
My Best Detective Story (Contributor) 9 copies
World's Great Mystery Stories (Contributor) 9 copies
Thrills, Crimes and Mysteries (Contributor) 9 copies
50 Classic Mystery Books (Contributor) 9 copies
Griezelverhalen 2 (Contributor) 8 copies
Dangerous Ladies (Contributor) 8 copies
My Favorite Suspense Stories (Contributor) 8 copies, 1 review
Murder Without Tears (Contributor) 8 copies
Dark Lessons: Crime and Detection on Campus (Contributor) 7 copies, 1 review
Påskekrim : 17 kriminalnoveller (Contributor) 6 copies
Detection Medley (Contributor) 5 copies
Modern Detective Stories (Contributor) 5 copies
The Gollancz Detective Omnibus (Contributor) 5 copies
Verdens største detektiver II (Contributor) 5 copies
My Best Thriller (Contributor) 4 copies
Verdens største detektiver I (Contributor) 4 copies
Vintermysterier (Author, some editions) 3 copies, 1 review
The Fourth Mystery Bedside Book (Contributor) 3 copies
Oxford Poetry 1919 (Editor) 2 copies
Great Stories of Detection (Contributor) 2 copies
Horrifying and Hideous Hauntings (Contributor) 2 copies
Oxford Poetry 1917 (Editor) 2 copies
Mystery and Suspense (Contributor) 1 copy
Verdens beste kriminalhistorier (Contributor) 1 copy
Best Crime Stories 2 (Contributor) 1 copy
Ellery Queen's 1966 Anthology (Contributor) 1 copy
Tchnienie Grozy (Contributor) 1 copy
Stories for girls (Contributor) 1 copy
No Flowers by Request (Contributor) 1 copy
The great detectives (Contributor) 1 copy

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Short biography
Although best known as a writer of Golden Age British mystery novels featuring amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L. Sayers also was a student of classical and modern languages, a playwright, and an essayist. Her translation of Dante's Divine Comedy is still considered a classic.
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Dorothy L. Sayers's book The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers: Selections from Her Novels, Plays, Letters, and Essays was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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