Dorothy Lee Sayers is a British writer, theologian and translator. In the Russian Federation, she is known primarily as the author of detective novels about the adventures of detective Peter Wimsey, although her creative legacy is not limited to them.
Dorothy Lee Sayers was born in the summer of 1893 in Oxford into the family of a respected Anglican priest. As a child, she studied at a private school in Salisbury. After that, the girl was able to continue her education at the prestigious Oxford Somerville College. In 1915 she graduated from this educational institution with a bachelor's degree in the direction of "French". And in 1920 she was awarded a master's degree. Sayers was one of the first girls to achieve a degree at Oxford.
After graduating from college, Dorothy worked for a time as a proofreader in one of the publishing houses, and after that she was a teacher at the Ecole de Roche school in France.
The first novels and the creation of the Detective Club
From 1922 to 1929, Dorothy worked for the advertising company "Bensons" (created text ads) and at the same time was engaged in literary creation. In 1923, Sayers released her debut detective novel, Whose Body? The protagonist of this work was the aristocrat and detective Peter Wimsey. The novel was a success, and as a result, Dorothy created several more fascinating detective stories - "A Cloud of Witnesses" (1926), "Not by his own death" (1927), "Trouble at the Bellona Club" (1928).
In 1929, Sayers retired from the advertising company and devoted herself entirely to literature. At the same time, Dorothy Sayers, along with such prominent figures as Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley and Gladys Mitchell, became the founder of the Detective Club. Its participants periodically arranged meetings at which they discussed certain issues related to the detective genre.
Personal life in the twenties
In 1922, Dorothy had a relationship with Bill White, a car salesman. From him in 1924, the writer had a child out of wedlock - the boy John Anthony. The morals of those years were very strict, so Dorothy Sayers decided to keep the birth of her son a secret and gave him to be raised by her cousin.
In 1926, Dorothy Sayers married Oswald Arthur Fleming, a former military man who already had two children from his former wife. Dorothy and Oswald later adopted John Anthony. At the same time, Sayers did not recognize herself as his biological mother until the end of her life.
Pre-War Creativity by Dorothy Lee Sayers
In 1930, Dorothy Lee Sayers wrote a joint novel with Robert Eustace - it was called "Investigative Documents". In fact, this is the only detective story in her bibliography that lacks a character like Peter Wimsey.
In the same 1930, on the shelves of bookstores, another unusual novel by Sayers, "Strong Poison", appeared. In it, Peter Wimsey investigates a mysterious crime not alone, but together with an inquisitive writer Harriet Wayne. Then Harriet will appear in three more books - "Find the Dead", "Homecoming" and "Spoiled Honeymoon". These novels are distinguished from the rest by a more detailed study of the inner world of the heroes.
It is worth mentioning three more detective stories created by the writer during this period - "Death by Announcement" (1933), "Executioner's Vacation" (1933) and "The Handwriting of a Murderer" (1934).
Major works of the forties and fifties
In the late thirties, Dorothy Sayers announced that she was stopping writing detective stories, and seriously took up religious topics. Soon after this, the writer created an apologetic treatise on the nature of creativity "The Mind of the Creator" (1941), as well as 12 radio plays about Christ under the general title "Man Born to the Kingdom." These plays were broadcast by the BBC in 1941 and 1942.
In 1946 Sayers published a collection of essays "Unpopular Opinions", and in 1947 - a collection of "Symbol or Chaos".
In general, Dorothy Sayers' life in the forties and fifties was very busy - she traveled a lot around the world and performed in various audiences. In 1950, Sayers became a doctor of philology at the University of Durham, and in 1952 she was elected head of one of the parishes in London.
Another important area of her activity during this period was translation. In 1944, she began translating the famous Divine Comedy. It was possible to finish work on two parts ("Hell" and "Purgatory") only by 1955. But the third part ("Paradise") was not fully translated - on December 17, 1957, the life of Dorothy Lee Sayers was unexpectedly interrupted. The official cause of death is heart failure.