Sayers, Dorothy L. and Lord Peter Wimsey

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2003

12 Pages, Grade: 2,5 (B)


List of contents

1. A short biography of Dorothy L. Sayers

2. Lord Peter Wimsey
2.1 The series of Lord Peter Wimsey

3. A characterization of Lord Peter Wimsey after the novel “Gaudy Night”
3.1 A short summary of “Gaudy Night”
3.2 Which type of detective is Lord Peter Wimsey?
3.3 The origin, the career and the way of living
3.4 The appearance and the character of Lord Peter Wimsey


1. A short biography of Dorothy Leigh Sayers - English detective – story writer, dramatist, poet and essayist

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Dorothy Leigh Sayers was born at Oxford on 13th June 1893, the only child of the Rev. Henry Sayers, of Anglo-Irish descent. Her father was at the time headmaster of Christ Church College, and she was born in the headmaster's house. Henry Sayers made an impressive clerical and schoolmasterly career.[1] Her mother, Helen Mary Leigh Sayers, was the daughter of a solicitor.[2] The maiden name of Helen Mary Sayers was Leigh. This name was given to Dorothy as her second first name. This initial “L” was always very important for her and if somebody forgot it he or she had to expect a reproach.[3]

Dorothy Sayers was brought up at Bluntisham Rectory, Cambridgeshire. She was already sixteen years old when she started to visit a school. Before she was thaught latin, french, music (she learned to play the violin and had singing lessons) and german by her father, aunt and mother. But she was not good in mathematics and science.

She went to the Godolphin School, Salisbury, where she won a scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford. There she began her language studies in 1912. At this time it was very hard for women to receive an academic degree. The regulation that women can study was firstly passed in 1920. Dorothy enjoyed her live as a student very much. She gave a lot of tea parties, was a member of the “Bach – choir” and established a group which she named “Society for reciprocal admiration”. During this time she started to write her first poems which she published in school or college magazines or she just wrote them for close friends as a present. In 1915 she graduated as first women with first class honours in modern languages. After that, in 1916, she worked as a teacher for a year in Hull. But she hated this job. One of her Hull students had overheard her saying: “I would rather sweep the streets than teach children”.[4]

Disliking the routine and seclusion of academic life Dorothy settled for the third time in Oxford, where she lived on an income she earned as a reader for Basil Blackwell, the author, puplisher, and bookseller. Her tasks were varied. She probably criticized submitted manuscripts, proofread and she certainly assisted in editing Oxford Poetry for the years 1917, 1918, and 1919.[5] But Dorothy not only assisted in editing Oxford Poetry, she also contributed to each volume herself.[6]

In 1918 her second volume of “Catholic Tales and Christian Songs” was published. In this year she met Eric Whelpton, the man she fell in love with. He had started his university work at Hertford College in the autumn of 1912 but left to join the Berkshire Territorials after the outbreak of World War I. Because of ill health he returned to Oxford in 1918. Like Dorothy, he was a child of a clergyman. But his father was a member of the nonconformist clergy. He found an employment in the Ecole des Roches near Verneuil in Normandie.[7] Dorothy followed him for one year as his assistant by establishing a programm for student exchanges.


[1] Dorothy L. Sayers – A Literary Biography, Ralph E. Hone, S. 1f

[2] Dorothy L. Sayers – A Literary Biography, Ralph E. Hone, S. 2

[3] Dorothy L. Sayers, Manfred Siebald, S. 9

[4] Dorothy L. Sayers – A Literary Biography, Ralph E. Hone, S 24

[5] Dorothy L. Sayers – A Literary Biography, Ralph E. Hone, S. 25

[6] Dorothy L., Manfred Siebald, S. 11ff

[7] Dorothy L. Sayers – A Literary Biography, Ralph E. Hone, S.28ff

Excerpt out of 12 pages


Sayers, Dorothy L. and Lord Peter Wimsey
Technical University of Braunschweig
Detective Story Inside/Outside the classroom
2,5 (B)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
503 KB
Sayers, Dorothy, Lord, Peter, Wimsey, Detective, Story, Inside/Outside
Quote paper
Maren Göpffarth (Author), 2003, Sayers, Dorothy L. and Lord Peter Wimsey, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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