Dorothy Leigh Sayers

Dorothy Leigh
Sayers
1893
1957

English Scholar, Writer

Author Quotes

I entirely agree that a historian ought to be precise in detail; but unless you take all the characters and circumstances into account, you are reckoning without the facts. The proportions and relations of things are just as much facts as the things themselves.

If it ever occurs to people to value the honor of the mind equally with the honor of the body, we shall get a social revolution of a quite unparalleled sort.

Lawyers enjoy a little mystery, you know. Why, if everybody came forward and told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth straight out, we should all retire to the workhouse.

Parker looked distressed. He had confidence in Wimsey's judgment, and, in spite of his own interior certainty, he felt shaken. My dear man, where's the flaw in [this case]? There isn't one ... There's nothing wrong about it at all, except that the girl's innocent.

The art of change-ringing is peculiar to the English, and, like most English peculiarities, unintelligible to the rest of the world. (The change-ringer's) passion- and it is a passion- finds its satisfaction in mathematical completeness and mechanical perfection, and as his bell weaves her way rhythmically up from lead to hinder place and down again, he is filled with the solemn intoxication that comes of intricate ritual faultlessly performed.

The worst sin-perhaps the only sin- passion can commit is to be joyless.

Trouble shared is trouble halved.

Why do you want a letter from me?... ? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don't you do as much for theology? Why do you never read the great writings on the subject, but take your information from the secular 'experts' who have picked it up as inaccurately as you? Why don't you learn the facts in this field as honestly as your own field? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook on church history will tell you where they came from? Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity - God the three in One - yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you E=mc2? What makes you suppose that the expression God ordains is narrow and bigoted, while your own expression, Science demands is taken as an objective statement of fact? I admit, you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you go humbly to the man who understands the works; whereas if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar. Why do you want a letter from me telling you about God? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I'm giving you personal opinions… Don't bother. Go away and do some work and let me get on with mine.

I gather that he nearly knocked you down, damaged your property, and generally made a nuisance of himself, and that you instantly concluded he must be some relation to me.

If it were not for the war, this war would suit me down to the ground.

Listen, Harriet. I do understand. I know you don't want either to give or to take... You don't want ever again to have to depend for happiness on another person. That's true. That's the truest thing you ever said. All right. I can respect that. Only you've got to play the game. Don't force an emotional situation and then blame me for it.But I don't want any situation. I want to be left in peace.

People who make some other person part of their job are dangerous.

The banks of the Thirty-Foot held, but the swollen Wale, receiving the full force of the Upper Waters and the spring tide, gave at every point. Before the cars reached St. Paul, the flood was rising and pursuing them. Wimsey's car--the last to start--was submerged to the axles. They fled through the dusk, and behind and on their left, the great silver sheet of water spread and spread.

There certainly does seem a possibility that the detective story will come to an end, simply because the public will have learnt all the tricks.

Very dangerous things, theories.

Why would you family think about it? Oh, my mother's the only one that counts, and she likes you very much from what she's seen of you. So you had me inspected? No-dash ti all, I seem to be saying all the wrong things today. I was absolutely stunned that first day in court, and I rushed off to my mater, who's an absolute dear, and the kind of person who really understands things, and I said, 'Look here! here's the absolutely one and only woman, and she's being put through a simply ghastly awful business and for God's sake come and hold my hand!' You simply don't know how foul it was.

I give you full credit for the discovery, I crawl, I grovel, my name is Watson, and you need not say what you were just going to say, because I admit it all.

If men will not understand the meaning of judgment, they will never come to understand the meaning of grace.

Lord Peter was hampered in his career as a private detective by a public school education. Despite Parker's admonitions, he was not always able to discount it. His mind had been warped in its young growth by Raffles and Sherlock Holmes, or the sentiments for which they stand. He belonged to a family which had never shot a fox.

People who prefer to believe the worst of others will breed war and religious persecutions while the world lasts.

The bells gave tongue: Gaude, Sabaoth, John, Jericho, Jubilee, Dimity, Batty Thomas and Tailor Paul, rioting and exulting high up in the dark tower, wide mouths rising and falling, brazen tongues clamoring, huge wheels turning to the dance of the leaping ropes. Tin tan din dan bim bam bom bo--tan tin din dan bam bim bo bom--tan dan tin bam din bo bim bom--every bell in her place striking tuneably, hunting up, hunting down, dodging, snapping, laying her blows behind, making her thirds and fourths, working down to lead the dance again. Out over the flat, white wastes of fen, over the spear-straight, steel-dark dykes and the wind-bent, groaning poplar trees, bursting from the snow-choked louvres of the belfry, whirled away southward and westward in gusty blasts of clamor to the sleeping counties went the music of the bells--little Gaude, silver Sabaoth, strong John and Jericho, glad Jubilee, sweet Dimity and old Batty Thomas, with great Tailor Paul bawling and striding like a giant in the midst of them. Up and down went the shadows of the ringers upon the walls, up and down went the scarlet sallies flickering roofwards and floorwards, and up and down, hunting in their courses, went the bells of Fenchurch St. Paul.

There is something about wills which brings out the worst side of human nature. People who under ordinary circumstances are perfectly upright and amiable, go as curly as corkscrews and foam at the mouth, whenever they hear the words 'I devise and bequeath.

We are much too much inclined in these days to divide people into permanent categories, forgetting that a category only exists for its special purpose and must be forgotten as soon as that purpose is served.

Why? Oh, well - I thought you'd be rather an attractive person to marry. That's all. I mean, I sort of took a fancy to you. I can't tell you why. There's no rule about it, you know.

I have rather an unwholesome weakness for policemen.

Author Picture
First Name
Dorothy Leigh
Last Name
Sayers
Birth Date
1893
Death Date
1957
Bio

English Scholar, Writer