Returning to Sayers

This week the Dachshunds of Dawlish join us in finally getting to grips with Busman’s Honeymoon. We here confess to having never read it before, though there’s no good reason why we should not have, considering our love of Dorothy Sayers. Our hardback folios make for awkward travelling companions, is at least part of the trouble. Equally though, the ending of Gaudy Night has always felt so balanced and resolved that we’ve never read further. (That’s not strictly true either; two years ago, we picked up Thrones, Dominations but though we liked it, we never know how much to count it.)

If you’ve never tried it, reading with Dachshunds is not to be undertaken lightly. In fact, we find these reading companions exhausting. They want to run around at a great speed, and we need quiet to read.  If we do settle them, we are then pinned to the chair while they sleep —we are of course, the human pillow in this instance. There hasn’t been much sleeping on their part though, because we’re still only 30 pages in and it’s Wednesday.

What we’re really doing, we’ve decided, is savouring this particular Sayers. We love Harriet’s company, and are reluctant to give it up completely. Once the whirl of the holidays is over we suppose we’ll read it in earnest in spite of the Dachshunds, because after so much people-time we’ll need the excursion to Talboys like a good cup of tea. Then, well then I think we’ll be about due a return to that boating scene on the Cherwell, because it’s been ages since we read it in context and anyway, we meant it about not wanting to give these characters up.


2 thoughts on “Returning to Sayers

  1. GAUDY NIGHT is my favourite of all the Lord Peter stories. Among other things, I think it’s a fantastic treatise on feminism and the role of creative women. And then, it’s the most moving love story. As a matter of fact, I think Sayers did romance better than she did mystery. That’s one aspect of BUSMAN’S HONEYMOON that brought me to tears, the profoundly moving depiction of the love between Harriet and Peter. I hope you enjoy yourself!
    Incidentally, there’s a Talboy’s short story set some ten years after BUSMAN’S HONEYMOON, involving their children – I think it might even be called “Talboys”. It’s in one of the shorts collections.


    1. I agree completely about GAUDY NIGHT. The boating expedition remains the most moving love scene in literature according to me, rivalled only by Wentworth’s letter. Certainly I read GAUDY NIGHT more for the love story than the poison pen aspect. I must look out for the Talboy’s story -so far I am thoroughly enjoying BUSMAN’S HONEYMOON and if I ever finish Christmas baking, I may actually make headway with it as I’d like!


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