Saturday, July 5, 2008

I just realized I didn't say a word about what I was reading. I told you about the two Martha Grimes books. they almost made me give up bacon. But not quite.

I just finished a Dorothy Sayers book yesterday. If you have not read Sayers, I envy you. You can start at the very beginning--"Gaudy Night," I think. They are all mysteries, but they are so finely written they should not even be in that category.

Sayers studied at Oxford and sometimes taught there, she was incredibly intelligent and well-educated. Sometimes I have to get out the dictionary to read her. The work of her life was a translation of Dante's "Divine Comedy," which is still the definitive translation among scholars.

Her detective is Lord Peter Wimsey, a very well-dressed, well-read, and not well-understood, second son of the Duke of Denver. Of course, murders happen around him all the time. His anamorato is Harriet Vane, who he meets when she is accused of murdering his lover. She is one of the great female characters in literature.

I think I may have talked myself into going back and reading all of these books again. It's been so long I think I would enjoy them again.

The one I just read, "Thrones, Dominations," is one that Miss Sayers abandoned sometime between '36 and '38 to work on a stage production of "Busman's Honeymoon." It was completed in the late '90's, by Jill Paton Walsh. I really can't tell where one stops and the other starts. It is typical for Sayers, less about the murder than the lives of the characters.

The BBC did a televised Peter Wimsey series quite a while ago that was shown on PBS. Dorothy Sayers died in 1957.

If you have not read Dorothy Sayers you are in for a fabulous treat. Eat up!


____Maggie said...

Envy me! I've not read her, but sadly I haven't even got her in my TBR pile! So many books, so little time...

queenbee said...

Envy me too...I just finished my Dickey novels and realized I miss the light stuff. I've been reading so much nonfiction, I'd forgotten about reading for pleasure, so this afternoon I went by the library and picked up two Patterson novels...these are the women detective series. I love his work and after watching the women murder club on tv last season, I thought I'd give them a try.

Maybe it's a good thing I'm going through a dry spell in my love life...I've been reading some good stuff.

jo ellen said...

Read Dorothy Sayers!! Especially if you are an Anglophile like mme. Good to hear from Maggie and queenbee!

Susie said...

Ooh, queenbee, you too? Dry spell here also. Nice to know the silver lining to no love life is a prolific shelf on Shelfari! HA! Thanks for the tip, Jo. I'll read one of her books this week.

jo ellen said...

good for Susie! have you read it yet?