Crime: Is Dorothy L. Sayers still worth reading?

Dorothy L. Sayers in her college days.“Is Dorothy L. Sayers still worth reading?” Well I’ve been reading her lately (in anticipation of the Taproot Theatre’s upcoming production of Gaudy Night), and my unsurprising answer is yes, but why? After all, her hero – Edwardian aristocrat Lord Peter Wimsey – seems at first blush to be just the kind of plummy, pompous plutocrat that we’ve lost all taste for. Although Sayers’ works are drenched in the sort of stylish tweedy Englishness that enthralls Downton Abbey fans, they have not one jot of the latter’s sympathy to the plight of those below stairs, siding firmly and unselfconsciously with the snobs. Wimsey’s man Bunter (one of the great butlers) makes Jeeves look like an anarchist, so well does he know his place. Continue reading “Crime: Is Dorothy L. Sayers still worth reading?”