History Main / DorothyLSayers

22nd Nov '13 3:11:34 AM Vasha
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[[quoteright:298:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DLSayers.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:298:"Those who prefer their English sloppy have only themselves to thank if the advertisement writer uses his mastery of the vocabulary and syntax to mislead their weak minds."]]

'''Dorothy L. Sayers''' (1893-1957) was an English writer, best known for her [[MysteryFiction detective fiction]], particularly the novels and stories featuring AmateurSleuth LordPeterWimsey. Her crime fiction also included many more short stories (of which eleven featured another amateur sleuth, the contrastingly lower-class Literature/MontagueEgg) and the novel ''The Documents in the Case'', co-written with Robert Eustace. After the death of her greatly admired Creator/GKChesterton, she would herself become president of The Detection Club, an association of authors united to maintain the highest standards in the genre.

Before the detective fiction career took off, she worked as a copywriter at a London advertising agency, where she worked on a long-running series of ads for Guinness and created a sensationally successful viral marketing campaign for Colman's Mustard. (Some years later, she set one of her Lord Peter mysteries in an advertising agency.)

She was also a playwright, whose works frequently examined moral and theological questions. They include ''The Devil to Pay'', a retelling of the {{Faust}} legend; and the 12-play cycle ''The Man Born to be King'', a dramatization of the life of {{Jesus}} commissioned by BBC Radio. Sayers felt that religious drama was frequently undramatic, populated by flat characters who mouthed archaic dialogue while going through the overfamiliar motions, and strove to avoid this in her play cycle, presenting the characters as real people who speak in contemporary language and are motivated by everyday (and occasionally trivial) concerns. The approach was inevitably controversial, but widely regarded as a success.

In later life, Sayers began work on a translation of Dante's DivineComedy. She had completed ''Inferno'' and ''Purgatorio'', and was working on ''Paradiso'' when she died; the work was completed by her colleague and later biographer, Dr. Barbara Reynolds, and published posthumously. (Dr. Reynolds has also edited four volumes of selected letters by Sayers.)

Sayers was also a SherlockHolmes fan, and a noted player of the Great Game of Holmesian "scholarship". Her contributions include a famous argument for the proposition that Doctor Watson's middle name was "Hamish", and an essay that combined actual historical evidence with the few clues in the Canon to deduce not only where and when Holmes attended university, but where he stayed and which classes he took.

One of the strangest theories to arise from Sayers's work concerns the character Harriet Vane, the love interest of Lord Peter Wimsey. A popular literary theory of the time called the "personal fallacy" held that all fiction was SelfInsertFic, and that any character bearing even a passing resemblance to the author must be a full GodModeSue. Sayers was one of the strongest voices condemning this theory, most notably in the preface to her 1941 religious commentary ''[[http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/dlsayers/mindofmaker/mind.c.htm The Mind of the Maker]]''.

Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.[[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old lesbian who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally sex was for and about men.) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[note]]despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity[[/note]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were (and how ironic, if said critics had realised quite how much Sayers had in common with Vane.)

She is a member of the group of female detective novelists known to readers as "The Big Four"; the other three are NgaioMarsh (who gleefully spread the "dried-up old prune in love with her creation" rumours), MargeryAllingham, and Creator/AgathaChristie. Most critics consider her the best writer of the four.

----
'''Her works include:'''

* ''MysteryFiction:''
** The LordPeterWimsey series
** The Literature/MontagueEgg series
** ''The Documents in the Case'' (with Robert Eustace) (1930) -- An [[ScrapbookStory epistolatory novel]].
** ''The Floating Admiral'' (with other members of The Detection Club) (1931) -- Sayers wrote one chapter.
** ''Hangman's Holiday'' (1933) -- Short stories, including four Lord Peter Wimsey stories, six Montague Egg stories, and two independent stories.
** ''Ask a Policeman'' (with other members of The Detection Club) (1933) -- Sayers wrote one chapter.
** ''Six against the Yard'' (with other members of The Detection Club) (1936) -- Includes the short story "Blood Sacrifice", also included in ''In the Teeth of the Evidence'' (''see below'').
** ''Double Death'' (with other members of The Detection Club) (1939) -- Sayers wrote one chapter.
** ''In the Teeth of the Evidence'' (1939) -- Short stories, including two Lord Peter Wimsey stories, five Montague Egg stories, and ten independent stories.

* ''Plays:''

** ''The Zeal of Thy House'' (1937) -- A pageant-play telling the story of William of Sens, architect of Canterbury cathedral
** ''He That Should Come'' (1938) -- A radio-play telling the story of the Nativity
** ''The Devil To Pay'' (1939) -- A pageant-play retelling the story of {{Faust}}
** ''Love All'' (1940) -- A comedy
** ''The Man Born To Be King'' (1941) -- A series of 12 radio-plays recounting the life of [[{{Jesus}} Christ]]
** ''The Just Vengeance'' (1946) -- A pageant-play using the death of an Airman to examine the theological dogma of the Atonement
** ''Theatre/TheEmperorConstantine'' (1951) -- A pageant-play recounting the [[HistoricalDomainCharacter life]] of the first Christian [[AncientRome Roman]] emperor and his involvement with the Council of Nicaea

* ''Translations:''

** ''Tristan in Brittany'' (1929) -- Translated from the ''Tristan'' of Thomas the Anglo-Norman (Old French)
** ''The Heart of Stone'' (1946) -- Translated Odes from the ''Convivio'' of Dante Alighieri (Italian)
** ''The Divine Comedy, Part 1: Hell'' (1949) -- Translated from the ''[[Literature/TheDivineComedy Commedia]] (Inferno)'' of Dante Alighieri (Italian)
** ''The Divine Comedy, Part 2: Purgatory'' (1955) -- Translated from the ''[[Literature/TheDivineComedy Commedia]] (Purgatorio)'' of Dante Alighieri (Italian)
** ''The Song of Roland'' (1957) -- Translated from the ''[[Literature/TheSongOfRoland Chanson de Roland]]'' of Turoldus(?) (Old French)
** ''The Divine Comedy, Part 3: Paradise'' (1962) -- Translated from the ''[[Literature/TheDivineComedy Commedia]] (Paradiso)'' of Dante Alighieri (Italian) -- Incomplete; finished by Dr. Barbara Reynolds

* ''Critical, Sociological, and Theological Works:''

** ''Begin Here'' (1940) -- An essay on war-goals and peace-goals
** ''[[http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/dlsayers/mindofmaker/mind.c.htm The Mind of the Maker]]'' (1941) -- An application of Trinitarian theology to the three-fold mind of the human creator
** ''Unpopular Opinions'' (1946) -- Essays, including "The Mysterious English," "Are Women Human?," and "Dr. Watson's Middle Name"
** ''Creed or Chaos? And Other Essays in Popular Theology'' (1947) -- Essays, including "The Greatest Drama Ever Staged," "Why Work?," and "The Other Six Deadly Sins"
** ''Introductory Papers on Dante'' (1954) -- Essays, including "The Meaning of Heaven and Hell," "The Meaning of Purgatory," and "Dante's Cosmos"
** ''Further Papers on Dante'' (1957) -- Essays, including "And Telling You A Story," "The Divine Poet and the Angelic Doctor" and "Dante and Milton"
** ''The Poetry of Search and the Poetry of Statement'' (1963) -- Essays, including "The Lost Tools of Learning," "The Faust Legend and the Idea of the Devil," and "Oedipus Simplex"

----
!!Works by Dorothy L. Sayers with their own trope pages include:

* LordPeterWimsey series
* Literature/MontagueEgg series
* ''Theatre/TheEmperorConstantine''
----
!!Other works by Dorothy L. Sayers provide examples of the following tropes:

* AuthorExistenceFailure: Prevented her completion of her translation of the ''Paradiso''.
* BerserkButton: Sayers had [[HairTriggerTemper more buttons than an elevator in the Empire State Building]]. For example:
** Leaving the L out of Sayers' name. (It stood for "Leigh", her mother's maiden name, by the way.)
*** This ''may'' be because Dorothy ''Sayer'' was a popular 1920s London burlesque queen. With Sayers, though, you can never tell.
*** According to Sayers' letters, it was indeed because she was confused with the other lady, whose press-clippings were occasionally erroneously sent to her, and also because she thought leaving the "L" out induced people to pronounce her name as an "ugly spondee", "Say-Ers," instead of her preferred monosyllabic "Sairs."
** Suggesting that she alter her work for some non-artistic reason, such as "audience acceptability" or "to inspire Christian feelings." Even her friend Creator/CSLewis got it in the neck for this one.
** ExecutiveMeddling, such as nearly happened in the case of her radio-play, ''The Man Born To Be King''. When the BBC Children's Hour insisted on its right to control its content, she sent them a letter, stuffed with the tiny torn-up pieces of her contract.
** Nearly at the end of her life, she was outraged by the novelist Robert Graves's sneering translation of the [[AncientRome Roman]] poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus -- some two thousand years after Lucan's death.
** She was also scornful of the idea that Harriet Vane (or Lord Peter, for that matter) was an AuthorAvatar, for reasons mentioned above.
*** Though she admitted she got a certain amount of vicarious pleasure in describing Lord Peter's luxurious lifestyle while she was still in the starving artist stage of her career as a novelist.
* CorruptChurch: The Priest in ''The Devil to Pay''; Caiaphas in ''The Man Born To Be King'' and ''The Just Vengeance''
* CouncilOfAngels: In her play, ''The Zeal of Thy House''
* CulturalTranslation: In her translation of the DivineComedy
* DealWithTheDevil: In ''The Devil to Pay'', obviously
* DoctorsOrders: In ''The Man Born To Be King'', Herod's doctor speaks quite firmly with him.
* {{God}}: Owing to the anti-blasphemy laws that formerly obtained in the United Kingdom, it was illegal to bring God as a character onto the stage; Sayers got around this by presenting Him either in radio-drama (as in ''The Man Born To Be King'') or under another name (''e.g.'', as "The Judge" in ''The Devil to Pay'' or as the "''Persona Dei''" in ''The Just Vengeance'').
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Nicodemus in ''The Man Born To Be King''. The revelation in question being that Jesus' claim to be the Son of God had been [[BackFromTheDead entirely justified]].
* GoneHorriblyRight: The sulphate of thanatol [[spoiler:prank]] in ''The Man who Knew How'' [[spoiler:cost the prankster his life when someone took it seriously]].
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: William of Sens in ''The Zeal of Thy House''; Herod the Great and others in ''The Man Born to be King''; George Fox and Dr. Creator/SamuelJohnson in ''The Just Vengeance''. (The Pope and Emperor in ''The Devil to Pay'' are carefully unnamed; research had shown Sayers that the contemporary pope was one of the Borgias!)
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Caiaphas's justification for having Jesus executed in ''The Man Born To Be King''.
* MrSmith: Sayers planned out a series of stories (of which only one, "The Leopard Lady," was ultimately published) in which an organization called "Smith & Smith Removals" (featuring Mr. Smith, Mr. Smythe, Mr. Schmidt, and so on) contracts to murder for profit.
* MyHairCameOutGreen: In "The Inspiration of Mr Budd".
* RitualMagic: In ''The Devil To Pay'', Sayers' take on the {{Faust}} legend, Mephistopheles is conjured by rituals that Sayers found in actual [[TheRenaissance Renaissance]] [[TomeOfEldritchLore grimoires]]. Moreover, she contrasts the simplicity of {{Jesus}}'s miracles with the complicated spells of sorcerers in ''The Man Born to Be King''.
* ScienceMarchesOn: Zigzagged with the science in ''The Documents in the Case''. The book relies on muscarine being optically active. At the time this was condemned as a scientific error, but it was later found to be correct. On the other hand it is now known that the Fly Agaric mushroom contains hardly any muscarine; its hallucinogenic/poisonous effects come from other compounds.
* ShoutOut: Not uncommon with Sayers; for instance, a passage describing Peter and John in ''The Zeal of Thy House'' was deliberately modeled on a passage in Creator/GKChesterton's ''Orthodoxy'' -- a book which she credited for her re-dedication to Christianity when she was a teenager.
* SmugSnake: Shadrach, in ''The Man Born To Be King''.
* UnreliableNarrator: Some of the letters in ''The Documents in the Case'' are written by them.
* ViewersAreMorons: The BBC Children's Hour wanted her to make ''The Man Born To Be King'' more accessible to their listeners, so its producers asked her to dumb down the script. She refused. Violently.
----

to:

[[quoteright:298:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DLSayers.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:298:"Those who prefer their English sloppy have only themselves to thank if the advertisement writer uses his mastery of the vocabulary and syntax to mislead their weak minds."]]

'''Dorothy L. Sayers''' (1893-1957) was an English writer, best known for her [[MysteryFiction detective fiction]], particularly the novels and stories featuring AmateurSleuth LordPeterWimsey. Her crime fiction also included many more short stories (of which eleven featured another amateur sleuth, the contrastingly lower-class Literature/MontagueEgg) and the novel ''The Documents in the Case'', co-written with Robert Eustace. After the death of her greatly admired Creator/GKChesterton, she would herself become president of The Detection Club, an association of authors united to maintain the highest standards in the genre.

Before the detective fiction career took off, she worked as a copywriter at a London advertising agency, where she worked on a long-running series of ads for Guinness and created a sensationally successful viral marketing campaign for Colman's Mustard. (Some years later, she set one of her Lord Peter mysteries in an advertising agency.)

She was also a playwright, whose works frequently examined moral and theological questions. They include ''The Devil to Pay'', a retelling of the {{Faust}} legend; and the 12-play cycle ''The Man Born to be King'', a dramatization of the life of {{Jesus}} commissioned by BBC Radio. Sayers felt that religious drama was frequently undramatic, populated by flat characters who mouthed archaic dialogue while going through the overfamiliar motions, and strove to avoid this in her play cycle, presenting the characters as real people who speak in contemporary language and are motivated by everyday (and occasionally trivial) concerns. The approach was inevitably controversial, but widely regarded as a success.

In later life, Sayers began work on a translation of Dante's DivineComedy. She had completed ''Inferno'' and ''Purgatorio'', and was working on ''Paradiso'' when she died; the work was completed by her colleague and later biographer, Dr. Barbara Reynolds, and published posthumously. (Dr. Reynolds has also edited four volumes of selected letters by Sayers.)

Sayers was also a SherlockHolmes fan, and a noted player of the Great Game of Holmesian "scholarship". Her contributions include a famous argument for the proposition that Doctor Watson's middle name was "Hamish", and an essay that combined actual historical evidence with the few clues in the Canon to deduce not only where and when Holmes attended university, but where he stayed and which classes he took.

One of the strangest theories to arise from Sayers's work concerns the character Harriet Vane, the love interest of Lord Peter Wimsey. A popular literary theory of the time called the "personal fallacy" held that all fiction was SelfInsertFic, and that any character bearing even a passing resemblance to the author must be a full GodModeSue. Sayers was one of the strongest voices condemning this theory, most notably in the preface to her 1941 religious commentary ''[[http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/dlsayers/mindofmaker/mind.c.htm The Mind of the Maker]]''.

Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.[[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old lesbian who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally sex was for and about men.) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[note]]despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity[[/note]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were (and how ironic, if said critics had realised quite how much Sayers had in common with Vane.)

She is a member of the group of female detective novelists known to readers as "The Big Four"; the other three are NgaioMarsh (who gleefully spread the "dried-up old prune in love with her creation" rumours), MargeryAllingham, and Creator/AgathaChristie. Most critics consider her the best writer of the four.

----
'''Her works include:'''

* ''MysteryFiction:''
** The LordPeterWimsey series
** The Literature/MontagueEgg series
** ''The Documents in the Case'' (with Robert Eustace) (1930) -- An [[ScrapbookStory epistolatory novel]].
** ''The Floating Admiral'' (with other members of The Detection Club) (1931) -- Sayers wrote one chapter.
** ''Hangman's Holiday'' (1933) -- Short stories, including four Lord Peter Wimsey stories, six Montague Egg stories, and two independent stories.
** ''Ask a Policeman'' (with other members of The Detection Club) (1933) -- Sayers wrote one chapter.
** ''Six against the Yard'' (with other members of The Detection Club) (1936) -- Includes the short story "Blood Sacrifice", also included in ''In the Teeth of the Evidence'' (''see below'').
** ''Double Death'' (with other members of The Detection Club) (1939) -- Sayers wrote one chapter.
** ''In the Teeth of the Evidence'' (1939) -- Short stories, including two Lord Peter Wimsey stories, five Montague Egg stories, and ten independent stories.

* ''Plays:''

** ''The Zeal of Thy House'' (1937) -- A pageant-play telling the story of William of Sens, architect of Canterbury cathedral
** ''He That Should Come'' (1938) -- A radio-play telling the story of the Nativity
** ''The Devil To Pay'' (1939) -- A pageant-play retelling the story of {{Faust}}
** ''Love All'' (1940) -- A comedy
** ''The Man Born To Be King'' (1941) -- A series of 12 radio-plays recounting the life of [[{{Jesus}} Christ]]
** ''The Just Vengeance'' (1946) -- A pageant-play using the death of an Airman to examine the theological dogma of the Atonement
** ''Theatre/TheEmperorConstantine'' (1951) -- A pageant-play recounting the [[HistoricalDomainCharacter life]] of the first Christian [[AncientRome Roman]] emperor and his involvement with the Council of Nicaea

* ''Translations:''

** ''Tristan in Brittany'' (1929) -- Translated from the ''Tristan'' of Thomas the Anglo-Norman (Old French)
** ''The Heart of Stone'' (1946) -- Translated Odes from the ''Convivio'' of Dante Alighieri (Italian)
** ''The Divine Comedy, Part 1: Hell'' (1949) -- Translated from the ''[[Literature/TheDivineComedy Commedia]] (Inferno)'' of Dante Alighieri (Italian)
** ''The Divine Comedy, Part 2: Purgatory'' (1955) -- Translated from the ''[[Literature/TheDivineComedy Commedia]] (Purgatorio)'' of Dante Alighieri (Italian)
** ''The Song of Roland'' (1957) -- Translated from the ''[[Literature/TheSongOfRoland Chanson de Roland]]'' of Turoldus(?) (Old French)
** ''The Divine Comedy, Part 3: Paradise'' (1962) -- Translated from the ''[[Literature/TheDivineComedy Commedia]] (Paradiso)'' of Dante Alighieri (Italian) -- Incomplete; finished by Dr. Barbara Reynolds

* ''Critical, Sociological, and Theological Works:''

** ''Begin Here'' (1940) -- An essay on war-goals and peace-goals
** ''[[http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/dlsayers/mindofmaker/mind.c.htm The Mind of the Maker]]'' (1941) -- An application of Trinitarian theology to the three-fold mind of the human creator
** ''Unpopular Opinions'' (1946) -- Essays, including "The Mysterious English," "Are Women Human?," and "Dr. Watson's Middle Name"
** ''Creed or Chaos? And Other Essays in Popular Theology'' (1947) -- Essays, including "The Greatest Drama Ever Staged," "Why Work?," and "The Other Six Deadly Sins"
** ''Introductory Papers on Dante'' (1954) -- Essays, including "The Meaning of Heaven and Hell," "The Meaning of Purgatory," and "Dante's Cosmos"
** ''Further Papers on Dante'' (1957) -- Essays, including "And Telling You A Story," "The Divine Poet and the Angelic Doctor" and "Dante and Milton"
** ''The Poetry of Search and the Poetry of Statement'' (1963) -- Essays, including "The Lost Tools of Learning," "The Faust Legend and the Idea of the Devil," and "Oedipus Simplex"

----
!!Works by Dorothy L. Sayers with their own trope pages include:

* LordPeterWimsey series
* Literature/MontagueEgg series
* ''Theatre/TheEmperorConstantine''
----
!!Other works by Dorothy L. Sayers provide examples of the following tropes:

* AuthorExistenceFailure: Prevented her completion of her translation of the ''Paradiso''.
* BerserkButton: Sayers had [[HairTriggerTemper more buttons than an elevator in the Empire State Building]]. For example:
** Leaving the L out of Sayers' name. (It stood for "Leigh", her mother's maiden name, by the way.)
*** This ''may'' be because Dorothy ''Sayer'' was a popular 1920s London burlesque queen. With Sayers, though, you can never tell.
*** According to Sayers' letters, it was indeed because she was confused with the other lady, whose press-clippings were occasionally erroneously sent to her, and also because she thought leaving the "L" out induced people to pronounce her name as an "ugly spondee", "Say-Ers," instead of her preferred monosyllabic "Sairs."
** Suggesting that she alter her work for some non-artistic reason, such as "audience acceptability" or "to inspire Christian feelings." Even her friend Creator/CSLewis got it in the neck for this one.
** ExecutiveMeddling, such as nearly happened in the case of her radio-play, ''The Man Born To Be King''. When the BBC Children's Hour insisted on its right to control its content, she sent them a letter, stuffed with the tiny torn-up pieces of her contract.
** Nearly at the end of her life, she was outraged by the novelist Robert Graves's sneering translation of the [[AncientRome Roman]] poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus -- some two thousand years after Lucan's death.
** She was also scornful of the idea that Harriet Vane (or Lord Peter, for that matter) was an AuthorAvatar, for reasons mentioned above.
*** Though she admitted she got a certain amount of vicarious pleasure in describing Lord Peter's luxurious lifestyle while she was still in the starving artist stage of her career as a novelist.
* CorruptChurch: The Priest in ''The Devil to Pay''; Caiaphas in ''The Man Born To Be King'' and ''The Just Vengeance''
* CouncilOfAngels: In her play, ''The Zeal of Thy House''
* CulturalTranslation: In her translation of the DivineComedy
* DealWithTheDevil: In ''The Devil to Pay'', obviously
* DoctorsOrders: In ''The Man Born To Be King'', Herod's doctor speaks quite firmly with him.
* {{God}}: Owing to the anti-blasphemy laws that formerly obtained in the United Kingdom, it was illegal to bring God as a character onto the stage; Sayers got around this by presenting Him either in radio-drama (as in ''The Man Born To Be King'') or under another name (''e.g.'', as "The Judge" in ''The Devil to Pay'' or as the "''Persona Dei''" in ''The Just Vengeance'').
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Nicodemus in ''The Man Born To Be King''. The revelation in question being that Jesus' claim to be the Son of God had been [[BackFromTheDead entirely justified]].
* GoneHorriblyRight: The sulphate of thanatol [[spoiler:prank]] in ''The Man who Knew How'' [[spoiler:cost the prankster his life when someone took it seriously]].
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: William of Sens in ''The Zeal of Thy House''; Herod the Great and others in ''The Man Born to be King''; George Fox and Dr. Creator/SamuelJohnson in ''The Just Vengeance''. (The Pope and Emperor in ''The Devil to Pay'' are carefully unnamed; research had shown Sayers that the contemporary pope was one of the Borgias!)
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Caiaphas's justification for having Jesus executed in ''The Man Born To Be King''.
* MrSmith: Sayers planned out a series of stories (of which only one, "The Leopard Lady," was ultimately published) in which an organization called "Smith & Smith Removals" (featuring Mr. Smith, Mr. Smythe, Mr. Schmidt, and so on) contracts to murder for profit.
* MyHairCameOutGreen: In "The Inspiration of Mr Budd".
* RitualMagic: In ''The Devil To Pay'', Sayers' take on the {{Faust}} legend, Mephistopheles is conjured by rituals that Sayers found in actual [[TheRenaissance Renaissance]] [[TomeOfEldritchLore grimoires]]. Moreover, she contrasts the simplicity of {{Jesus}}'s miracles with the complicated spells of sorcerers in ''The Man Born to Be King''.
* ScienceMarchesOn: Zigzagged with the science in ''The Documents in the Case''. The book relies on muscarine being optically active. At the time this was condemned as a scientific error, but it was later found to be correct. On the other hand it is now known that the Fly Agaric mushroom contains hardly any muscarine; its hallucinogenic/poisonous effects come from other compounds.
* ShoutOut: Not uncommon with Sayers; for instance, a passage describing Peter and John in ''The Zeal of Thy House'' was deliberately modeled on a passage in Creator/GKChesterton's ''Orthodoxy'' -- a book which she credited for her re-dedication to Christianity when she was a teenager.
* SmugSnake: Shadrach, in ''The Man Born To Be King''.
* UnreliableNarrator: Some of the letters in ''The Documents in the Case'' are written by them.
* ViewersAreMorons: The BBC Children's Hour wanted her to make ''The Man Born To Be King'' more accessible to their listeners, so its producers asked her to dumb down the script. She refused. Violently.
----
[[redirect:Creator/DorothyLSayers]]
1st Jul '13 1:49:00 PM RJSavoy
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Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.[[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old [[LesYay lesbian]] who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally [[AllWomenArePrudes sex was for and about men]].) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[note]]despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity[[/note]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were (and how ironic, if said critics had realised quite how much Sayers had in common with Vane.)

to:

Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.[[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old [[LesYay lesbian]] lesbian who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally [[AllWomenArePrudes sex was for and about men]].men.) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[note]]despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity[[/note]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were (and how ironic, if said critics had realised quite how much Sayers had in common with Vane.)
26th Jun '13 4:57:40 PM john_e
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Added DiffLines:

* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Nicodemus in ''The Man Born To Be King''. The revelation in question being that Jesus' claim to be the Son of God had been [[BackFromTheDead entirely justified]].
12th Mar '13 9:52:14 AM john_e
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Added DiffLines:

* ScienceMarchesOn: Zigzagged with the science in ''The Documents in the Case''. The book relies on muscarine being optically active. At the time this was condemned as a scientific error, but it was later found to be correct. On the other hand it is now known that the Fly Agaric mushroom contains hardly any muscarine; its hallucinogenic/poisonous effects come from other compounds.
9th Mar '13 3:09:06 PM LittleZelina
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Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.[[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old [[LesYay lesbian]] who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally [[AllWomenArePrudes sex was for and about men]].) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[note]]despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity[[/note]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were.

to:

Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.[[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old [[LesYay lesbian]] who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally [[AllWomenArePrudes sex was for and about men]].) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[note]]despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity[[/note]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were.
were (and how ironic, if said critics had realised quite how much Sayers had in common with Vane.)
3rd Oct '12 7:56:55 PM PaulA
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* ''Theatre/TheEmperorConstantine''



* DeadpanSnarker: Many, but the Empress Helena in her play ''The Emperor Constantine'' is a stand-out example.



* {{Forgiveness}}: ''The Emperor Constantine''



* HistoricalDomainCharacter: William of Sens in ''The Zeal of Thy House''; Herod the Great and others in ''The Man Born to be King''; George Fox and Dr. Creator/SamuelJohnson in ''The Just Vengeance''; the Emperor Constantine and others in his eponymous play. (The Pope and Emperor in ''The Devil to Pay'' are carefully unnamed; research had shown Sayers that the contemporary pope was one of the Borgias!)
* {{Hypocrite}}: Among several, Bassiana Marcia in ''The Emperor Constantine''

to:

* HistoricalDomainCharacter: William of Sens in ''The Zeal of Thy House''; Herod the Great and others in ''The Man Born to be King''; George Fox and Dr. Creator/SamuelJohnson in ''The Just Vengeance''; the Emperor Constantine and others in his eponymous play. Vengeance''. (The Pope and Emperor in ''The Devil to Pay'' are carefully unnamed; research had shown Sayers that the contemporary pope was one of the Borgias!)
* {{Hypocrite}}: Among several, Bassiana Marcia in ''The Emperor Constantine''
Borgias!)



* OffingTheOffspring: Happens to Crispus in ''The Emperor Constantine''



* WickedStepmother: Fausta in ''The Emperor Constantine''
3rd Oct '12 3:49:39 PM Goldfritha
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** ''The Emperor Constantine'' (1951) -- A pageant-play recounting the [[HistoricalDomainCharacter life]] of the first Christian [[AncientRome Roman]] emperor and his involvement with the Council of Nicaea

to:

** ''The Emperor Constantine'' ''Theatre/TheEmperorConstantine'' (1951) -- A pageant-play recounting the [[HistoricalDomainCharacter life]] of the first Christian [[AncientRome Roman]] emperor and his involvement with the Council of Nicaea
21st Sep '12 1:48:44 AM PaulA
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'''Dorothy L. Sayers''' (1893-1957) was an English writer, best known for her [[MysteryFiction detective fiction]], particularly the novels and stories featuring AmateurSleuth LordPeterWimsey. Her crime fiction also included many more short stories (of which eleven featured another amateur sleuth, the contrastingly lower-class MontagueEgg) and the novel ''The Documents in the Case'', co-written with Robert Eustace. After the death of her greatly admired Creator/GKChesterton, she would herself become president of The Detection Club, an association of authors united to maintain the highest standards in the genre.

to:

'''Dorothy L. Sayers''' (1893-1957) was an English writer, best known for her [[MysteryFiction detective fiction]], particularly the novels and stories featuring AmateurSleuth LordPeterWimsey. Her crime fiction also included many more short stories (of which eleven featured another amateur sleuth, the contrastingly lower-class MontagueEgg) Literature/MontagueEgg) and the novel ''The Documents in the Case'', co-written with Robert Eustace. After the death of her greatly admired Creator/GKChesterton, she would herself become president of The Detection Club, an association of authors united to maintain the highest standards in the genre.



** The MontagueEgg series

to:

** The MontagueEgg Literature/MontagueEgg series



** ''Hangman's Holiday'' (1933) -- Short stories, including four LordPeterWimsey stories, six MontagueEgg stories, and two independent stories.

to:

** ''Hangman's Holiday'' (1933) -- Short stories, including four LordPeterWimsey Lord Peter Wimsey stories, six MontagueEgg Montague Egg stories, and two independent stories.



** ''In the Teeth of the Evidence'' (1939) -- Short stories, including two LordPeterWimsey stories, five MontagueEgg stories, and ten independent stories.

to:

** ''In the Teeth of the Evidence'' (1939) -- Short stories, including two LordPeterWimsey Lord Peter Wimsey stories, five MontagueEgg Montague Egg stories, and ten independent stories.



* MontagueEgg series

to:

* MontagueEgg Literature/MontagueEgg series
2nd Sep '12 7:08:15 PM PaulA
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Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.[[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old [[LesYay lesbian]] who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally [[AllWomenArePrudes sex was for and about men]].) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[hottip:*:despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were.

to:

Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.[[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old [[LesYay lesbian]] who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally [[AllWomenArePrudes sex was for and about men]].) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[hottip:*:despite [[note]]despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity]] specificity[[/note]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were.
1st Sep '12 2:00:36 PM FELH2
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Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[hottip:*: Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old [[LesYay lesbian]] who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally [[AllWomenArePrudes sex was for and about men]].) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[hottip:*:despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were.

to:

Stung by the vehemence of her rebuttal, literary critics attacked Sayers personally, claiming that Vane, an erudite Oxford-educated mystery writer, was a blatant AuthorAvatar created to allow Sayers to vicariously "marry" Lord Peter. This bizarre theory unfortunately gained credence due to a number of factors. Sayers was fiercely protective of her privacy, so much so that few knew of her (for the time) romantically adventurous personal life.[[hottip:*: [[note]] Although her devastating affair with the novelist John Cournos was never actually consummated, she became sexually involved with a motorcyclist and mechanic named Bill White by whom she became pregnant. In order to spare the feelings of her family, as well as to retain her advertising job, she kept her condition secret, giving the boy to a cousin to raise; even her son himself did not realize that she was his biological mother until he was grown. Her subsequent marriage to "Mac" Fleming was troubled, but ultimately enduring.]] [[/note]] Many critics, those who knew her only by her Christian writings and her superficial physical appearance, assumed she was a pathetic, dried-up old [[LesYay lesbian]] who had created Harriet so she could have a vicarious love affair without subjecting herself to tiresome sex. (Keep in mind that lesbianism was seen at the time not as active attraction to women but as rejection of sex, since naturally [[AllWomenArePrudes sex was for and about men]].) This theory arose during Sayers's lifetime and became one of her [[BerserkButton Berserk Buttons]] -- in fact, she went as far as to deny that Vane was an AuthorAvatar [[hottip:*:despite the fact that Sayers had adapted her relationship with Cournos into the Harriet Vane[=/=]Philip Boyes affair with some specificity]] -- and it gained momentum after her death. It's only since the recent publication of a frank biography and of her own letters that critics have realized just how far off the mark these ideas actually were.



* HistoricalDomainCharacter: William of Sens in ''The Zeal of Thy House''; Herod the Great and others in ''The Man Born to be King''; George Fox and Dr. SamuelJohnson in ''The Just Vengeance''; the Emperor Constantine and others in his eponymous play. (The Pope and Emperor in ''The Devil to Pay'' are carefully unnamed; research had shown Sayers that the contemporary pope was one of the Borgias!)

to:

* HistoricalDomainCharacter: William of Sens in ''The Zeal of Thy House''; Herod the Great and others in ''The Man Born to be King''; George Fox and Dr. SamuelJohnson Creator/SamuelJohnson in ''The Just Vengeance''; the Emperor Constantine and others in his eponymous play. (The Pope and Emperor in ''The Devil to Pay'' are carefully unnamed; research had shown Sayers that the contemporary pope was one of the Borgias!)
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.DorothyLSayers