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Quotes of the day: Dorothy L. Sayers

Published Friday, June 12, 2015 @ 8:23 AM EDT
Jun 12 2015

Dorothy Leigh Sayers (June 13, 1893 - December 17, 1957) was a renowned English crime writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator and Christian humanist. She was also a student of classical and modern languages. She is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between the First and Second World Wars that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, that remain popular to this day. However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante's Divine Comedy to be her best work. She is also known for her plays, literary criticism and essays. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A human being must have occupation, if he or she is not to become a nuisance to the world.

Books... are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development.

Every time a man expects, as he says, his money to work for him, he is expecting other people to work for him.

I always have a quotation for everything- it saves original thinking.

I always said the professional advocate was the most amoral person on the face of the earth.

My old mother always used to say, my lord, that facts are like cows. If you stare them in the face hard enough, they generally run away.

Somehow or other, and with the best of intentions, we have shown the world the typical Christian in the likeness of a crashing and rather ill-natured bore—and this in the name of one who assuredly never bored a soul in those thirty-three years during which he passed through the world like a flame.

The first thing a principle does is kill somebody.

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

Those who prefer their English sloppy have only themselves to thank if the advertisement writer uses his mastery of the vocabulary and syntax to mislead their weak minds.

Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force.

Trouble shared is trouble halved.

What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.

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

Paradoxical as it may seem, to believe in youth is to look backward; to look forward we must believe in age.

Very dangerous things, theories.

While time lasts there will always be a future, and that future will hold both good and evil, since the world is made to that mingled pattern.

As I grow older and older, And totter toward the tomb, I find that I care less and less, Who goes to bed with whom.

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


(June 13 is also the birthday of W.B. Yeats.)

Categories: Dorothy L. Sayers, Quotes of the day


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