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January 19, 1976

Such a Strange Lady: A Biography of Dorothy L. Sayers

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1976;235(3):321. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260290065041

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Between the mid-20s and World War II, a handful of authors transformed the detective story into a special art form of great brilliance. Of the select handful of authors, Dorothy L. Sayers, creator of Lord Peter Wimsey, was perhaps the greatest. The relationships between authoress Sayers, her hero Wimsey, and the thinly fictional heroine Harriet Vane, are complex indeed. This biography is itself a sort of literary detective story, presenting the life of the authoress, her relationships to her friends, the genesis and development of her fictional characters, their decline, and her other interests. The book should be an outstanding biography of the year.

Dorothy L. Sayers, daughter of a minister, was awkward, socially inept, possessed of a "loud voice and a marvelous brain." Slow in maturing, she achieved emotional stability through her writings. Undoubtedly, she became emotionally entangled with her main characters, falling in love with Lord Peter, and