Dorothy Leigh Sayers, Spiritual Writer, 1957
(lived at Bluntisham)
17 December

[Dorothy L Sayers portrait]

Dorothy Leigh Sayers was born on 13 June 1893 at Oxford, where her father was headmaster of Christ Church Cathedral School. He then became rector of Bluntisham and she was brought up there before studying at Somerville College, Oxford. In 1915, she was one of the first women to graduate from Oxford. Her first novel was published in 1923 and she became famous as a writer of detective fiction. One of her best-known novels, The Nine Tailors, is set in the churches and countryside of the diocese of Ely. She led a complicated personal life, giving birth to an illegitimate child whose very existence she hid from her parents and the outside world. But she was a high-church Anglican, and in her later years a churchwarden, and her experiences led her away from fiction to writing about Christianity. She wrote several plays, most famously The Man Born to be King for BBC radio, which aroused a storm of protest for portraying Christ speaking modern rather than Elizabethan English. She also made translations of several books, notably Dante’s The Divine Comedy which was almost finished at her death on this day in 1957, living to the end her words ‘The only Christian work is good work, well done.’

If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Spiritual Writers, EH page 473

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