Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey

Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey

Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey

Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey

Synopsis

"Lord Peter Wimsey - amateur detective, man of fashion, talented musician, and wealthy intellectual - is known to legions of readers. His enduring presence and popularity is a tribute to his creator, Dorothy L. Sayers, who brought Lord Peter to life during "the long week-end" between the First and Second World Wars, as British aristocracy began to change, making way for a modern world." "In Conundrums for the Long Week-End, Robert McGregor and Ethan Lewis explore how Sayers used her fictional hero to comment on, and come to terms with, the social upheaval of the time: world wars, the crumbling of the privileged aristocracy, the rise of democracy, and the expanding struggle of women for equality. A reflection of the age, Lord Peter's character changed tremendously, mirroring the developing subtleties of his creator's evolving worldview." "Scholars of the Modern Age, fans of the mystery genre, and admirers of Sayers's fiction are sure to appreciate McGregor and Lewis's incisive examination of the literary, social, and historical context of this prized author's most popular work." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

He began existence in the year 1920, the incidental product of a lively imagination at play. Before bowing from the stage forever some twenty-two years later, he acquired enough flesh and blood to defy the will of his creator. Lord Peter Wimsey—brooding amateur detective, aristocratic man of fashion, talented musician and intellectual, wealthy collector of first editions—had become a recognizable man to legions of readers throughout the western world. His enduring presence is a tribute to the care and genius of Dorothy L. Sayers, the woman who dreamed him up during a long, tumultuous sojourn in Normandy.

Sayers was a striking example of the “new woman” of the early twentieth century, educated at Oxford University and determined to make her own way in the world. Her presence in France in 1920 suggests the nature of her escape from the bonds of Victorian gender roles: she was unescorted, working as assistant to a young scholar whom she wished to love. Sayers, all of twenty-six years old, could only dimly recognize her own participation in the great social upheaval beginning to shape the twentieth century. She was a woman looking toward freedom.

In this second year after the Great War, the traditions of the prewar world were rapidly falling to pieces. Through the twenties and into the thirties, the comfortable, conservative English world of Victoria, and of Sherlock Holmes, would continue to crumble, to be brushed aside in the embrace of the modern. Women stepped up the pace of their long march . . .

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