Below you will see some of the activities that the Society is involved with

 

  • The publication of Taking Detective Stories Seriously a collection of reviews written by Dorothy L. Sayers, edited and introduced by Martin Edwards, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association.
  • As part of its charitable work, the Dorothy L. Sayers Society presents a number of awards to young musicians, actors and bell ringers.  2016 was the inaugural year of the Norah Lambourne Design Award in conjunction with the Royal Opera House.  This award, named in honour of Norah Lambourne, close friend of DLS and collaborator in theatre work, is presented to apprentices based at the Royal Opera House facility at Thurrock in Essex.
  • The Society republished a play by Dorothy L. Sayers, Love All, with an introduction to the play written by actor Sheila Mitchell.
  • Saving DLS’ Witham home from demolition and getting it restored as private residences. 
  • Setting up the DLS Centre within the Witham Library next door to her home, to hold a collection of her works and Society material (contact the Centre for details of the opening hours). 
  • Being instrumental in the commissioning of a bronze statue by John Doubleday which now stands opposite the Witham library. 
  • holding on the thirtieth and fortieth anniversaries of her death a memorial service at St Anne’s Soho, where her ashes are laid, and where we have installed a tablet. 
  • Presenting a copy of the Hutchison portrait now in the National Portrait Gallery.
  • Celebrating Lord Peter Wimsey’s birth centenary with a peal of bells at Terrington St Clement; a visit to L’École des Roches in Normandy; the presentation to Balliol College of his portrait by Rod Munro; a garden party in Witham; luncheons in New York and at the Park Lane Hotel (110a Piccadilly, London) and the opening of the Lord Peter Wimsey Suite at the hotel; and the publishing of the tributes from other crime writers in “Encounters With Lord Peter”.
  • Celebrating the centenary of Dorothy’s birth with a new copper beech tree at Bluntisham Rectory to replace the one she knew, destroyed in a storm; commemorative plaques there and at 1 Brewer Street, Oxford, her birthplace; a musical reception in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in Oxford; centenary celebrations at Mainz in Germany and Madison, Wisconsin; a production of “The Zeal of Thy House” in Canterbury Cathedral; the laying of a memorial stone on her parents’ hitherto unmarked grave at Christchurch, Cambs; and numerous luncheons, dinners and talks.
  • Celebrating the 21st birthday of the Society at the Park Lane Hotel, with a tea party and readings from a wide range of DLS’s works.
  • Supporting the 2004 republication of all of the Wimsey novels with many events, including a peal of bells at Terrington St Clement to mark the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Nine Tailors.
  • Recent annual conventions have been held at Exeter UniversitySomerville College OxfordUniversity College DurhamUniversity of East Anglia in Norwich, Keele UniversitySt Mary’s College, Strawberry HillOriel College OxfordWheaton College, Illinois (in 1997 and again in 2007), Newnham College CambridgeWhitelands College, RoehamptonWrittle College, ChelmsfordUniversity College, ChichesterRoyal Holloway College, LondonLoughborough UniversityChrist Church, OxfordYork UniversityGirton College Cambridge and University of Surrey.
  • Visits have included Normandy, the Marne and Somme battlefields, Bramshill Police College, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Dartmoor, Galloway, Lingfield Park racecourse, the Finchcocks Collection of Keyboard Instruments in Kent, and the wartime code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park.
  • Lecture tours in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.
  • Making annual awards for young musicians and actors.
  • Competitions for carol settings, short stories and artistic designs.
  • The first public reading of several of her poems, including a dramatised version of “The Mocking of Christ”.
  • Presenting some of the ground-breaking play cycle The Man Born to be King.

See also the Events page for some recent or forthcoming events, and the publications page for a selection of items published by the Society.

From one small spark springs up a mighty flare
— Paradiso, Canto 1

The Society hopes that by its light future generations will enjoy and profit from the writings of Dorothy L Sayers.