Dorothy Leigh Sayers

Dorothy Leigh

English Scholar, Writer

Author Quotes

He remembered having said to his uncle (with a solemn dogmatism better befitting a much younger man): Surely it is possible to love with the head as well as the heart. Mr. Delagardie had replied, somewhat drily: No doubt; so long as you do not end by thinking with your entrails instead of your brain.

I have the most ill-regulated memory. It does those things which it ought not to do and leaves undone the things it ought to have done. But it has not yet gone on strike altogether.

In fact, there is perhaps only one human being in a thousand who is passionately interested in his job for the job's sake. The difference is that if that one person in a thousand is a man, we say, simply, that he is passionately keen on his job; if she is a woman, we say she is a freak.

Lord Peter's library was one of the most delightful bachelor rooms in London. Its scheme was black and primrose; its walls were lined with rare editions, and its chairs and Chesterfield sofa suggested the embraces of the hour is. In one corner stood a black baby grand, a wood fire leaped on a wide old-fashioned hearth, and the Sèvres vases on the chimneypiece were filled with ruddy and gold chrysanthemums. To the eyes of the young man who was ushered in from the raw November fog it seemed not only rare and unattainable, but friendly and familiar, like a colorful and gilded paradise in a mediæval painting

Perhaps you didn't say much about him, mother, but Gerald said lots - dreadful things!' 'Yes,' said the Duchess, 'he said what he thought. The present generation does, you know. To the uninitiated, I admit, dear, it does sound a little rude.

The English language has a deceptive air of simplicity; so have some little frocks; but they are both not the kind of thing you can run up in half an hour with a machine.

There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.

Well, it's no good jumping at conclusions. Jump? You don't even crawl distantly within sight of a conclusion. I believe if you caught the cat with her head in the cream-jug you'd say it was conceivable that the jug was empty when she got there.

You cannot do good work if you take your mind off the work to see how the community is taking it.

He was being about as protective as a can-opener.

I imagine you come across a number of people who are disconcerted by the difference between what you do feel and what they fancy you ought to feel. It is fatal to pay the smallest attention to them.

In reaction against the age-old slogan, woman is the weaker vessel, or the still more offensive, woman is a divine creature, we have, I think, allowed ourselves to drift into asserting that a woman is as good as a man, without always pausing to think what exactly we mean by that. What, I feel, we ought to mean is something so obvious that it is apt to escape attention altogether... that a woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual. What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.

My husband would do anything for me ...' It's degrading. No human being ought to have such power over another. It's a very real power, Harriet.Then ... we won't use it. If we disagree, we'll fight it out like gentlemen. We won't stand for matrimonial blackmail.

Philip wasn't the sort of man to make a friend of a woman. He wanted devotion. I gave him that. I did, you know. But I couldn't stand being made a fool of. I couldn’t stand being put on probation, like an office-boy, to see if I was good enough to be condescended to. I quite thought he was honest when he said he didn't believe in marriage -- and then it turned out that it was a test, to see whether my devotion was abject enough. Well, it wasn't. I didn't like having matrimony offered as a bad-conduct prize.

The fellow's got a bee in his bonnet. Thinks God's a secretion of the liver--all right once in a way, but there's no need to keep on about it. There's nothing you can't prove if your outlook is only sufficiently limited.

There's nothing you can't prove if your outlook is only sufficiently limited.

We've got to laugh or break our hearts in this damnable world.

You needn't try to bully me, young man, said that octogenarian with spirit, settin' there spoilin' your stomach with them nasty jujubes.

Heaven deliver us, what's a poet? Something that can't go to bed without making a song about it.

I know what you're thinking - that anybody with proper sensitive feelings would rather scrub floors for a living. But I should scrub floors very badly, and I write detective stories rather well. I don't see why proper feelings should prevent me from doing my proper job.

In the terms in which you set it, the problem is unanswerable; but in the Kingdom of Heaven, those terms do not apply. You have asked the question in a form that is much too limited; the 'solution' must be brought in from outside your sphere of reference altogether.

My idea is that Miss Vane didn't do it, said Wimsey. I dare say that's an idea which has already occurred to you, but with the weight of my great mind behind it, no doubt it strikes the imagination more forcibly.

Praise God (or whatever it is) from (if direction exists) whom (if personality exists) all blessings (if that word corresponds to any percept of objective reality) flow (if Heraclitus and Bergson and Einstein are correct in stating that everything is more or less flowing about).

The great advantage about telling the truth is that nobody ever believes it.

They cultivated normality till it stood out of them all over in knobs, like the muscles upon professional strong men, and scarcely looked normal at all. And they talked interminably and loudly. From their bouncing mental health ordinary ill-balanced mortals shrank in alarm.

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Dorothy Leigh
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English Scholar, Writer