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Dorothy L. Sayers

Dorothy L. Sayers was born at Oxford on June 13, 1893, the only child of the Reverend Henry Sayers, the headmaster of Christ Church Cathedral School. She was brought up at Bluntisham Rectory, Cambridgeshire, and went to the Godolphin School, Salisbury, where she won a scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford. In 1915, she graduated with first class honors in modern languages. Disliking the routine and seclusion of academic life, she joined Blackwell's, the Oxford publishers, and from 1922 to 1931 served as copywriter at the London advertising firm of Bensons.

In 1923, Dorothy published her first novel, Whose Body? which introduced Lord Peter Wimsey, the hero of fourteen novels and short story collections. She also wrote four other novels in collaboration and two serial stories for broadcasting. Writing full-time, she became Britain's premier crime writer and, in due course, president of the Detection Club. Her work, carefully researched and widely varied, included poetry, the editing of collections, and the translating of the Tristan of Thomas from medieval French.

Dorothy married Arthur Fleming in 1926. In 1928, her father died, and she bought a cottage at Witham, Essex, to accommodate her mother. On the latter's death a year later, Dorothy moved in herself and bought the house next door, turning the two houses into one. There she worked until her death in 1957.

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