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Mutual Admiration Society

How Dorothy L. Sayers and Her Oxford Circle Remade the World For Women

Mo Moulton



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Little Brown
14 July 2020
'An enjoyable anthem to friendship' Hephzibah Anderson, Observer 'Hugely enjoyable . . . Modern-day readers can thank the ambitious, complicated, funny, brave women of the Mutual Admiration Society' Anna Carey, Sunday Business Post 'A tribute to that precious but still unsung thing: the loving bond between female friends, based on intellectual exchange and deep affection' Charlotte Higgins, Guardian Dorothy L. Sayers is now famous for her Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane detective series, but she was equally well known during her life for an essay asking Are Women Human? Women's rights were expanding rapidly during Sayers's lifetime; she and her friends were some of the first women to receive degrees from Oxford. Yet, as historian Mo Moulton reveals, it was clear from the many professional and personal obstacles they faced that society was not ready to concede that women were indeed fully human.

Dubbing themselves the Mutual Admiration Society, Sayers and her classmates remained lifelong friends and collaborators as they fought for a truly democratic culture that acknowledged their equal humanity. A celebration of feminism and female friendship, MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY offers crucial insight into Dorothy L. Sayers and her world.
By:   Mo Moulton
Imprint:   Little Brown
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 126mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   300g
ISBN:   9781472154453
ISBN 10:   1472154452
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   14 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mo Moulton is an established author and commentator on twentieth-century British history, and currently a senior lecturer in the history department of the University of Birmingham. Their previous book was the runner-up for the Royal History Society's 2015 Whitfield Prize. They live in Derbyshire.

Reviews for Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and Her Oxford Circle Remade the World For Women

Rich and careful . . . [Mutual Admiration Society] excavates the social and emotional context of the lives of four indomitable women with painstaking affection; it is as valuable as it is enjoyable -- Sophie Read * TES * Well-written and fascinating, it's equally successful as a biography and social history -- Jake Kerridge * Sunday Express * A blend of group biography and social history, Mutual Admiration Society tells a quintessentially English story -- Francis Wilson * The Times * An author of detective fiction who also translated Dante. A pioneering historian of everyday life. A beloved teacher who directed amateur theatre. A birth control advocate and purveyor of pregnancy and parenting advice. In this compelling book, Mo Moulton shows how four women with very different ways of expressing their genders and sexualities inspired and supported one another for decades . . . Required reading, not only for Dorothy Sayers aficionados, but for anyone interested in queer lives and in the history of friendship. -- Sharon Marcus, author of The Drama of Celebrity Part literary biography, part social history, Mo Moulton's eloquent narrative testifies to the transformative power of creative work -- Laura Doan, author of Disturbing Practices: History, Sexuality and Women's Experience of Modern War This is an extraordinary book. Vivid and moving, Mutual Admiration Society is a compelling history of the intimacies forged by the remarkable circle of women around Dorothy L. Sayers, and the productive relationship between love and friendship and intellectual and professional labour. It is much more than this, though: as an intimate history of British society and culture in the first decades of the twentieth century, Mutual Admiration Society makes us think again about how - in private as much in public - modern Britain was made (and remade) through the creative work of such women. Beautifully written, animated by a sense of quiet power and amazing ambition, this is essential reading for anyone interested in modern British history -- Matt Houlbrook, author of Prince of Tricksters Deeply researched, beautifully written . . . If you already know and love the work of Dorothy L. Sayers, Moulton will help you understand her better as you read about the novelist in her element; if you don't know Sayers yet, let this gorgeous work - whose intense focus on women, their life-sustaining friendships, and their personal and professional desires echoes the very best of Sayers's novels - be part of your introduction -- Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know Mo Moulton's Mutual Admiration Society came along at exactly the right time. This lively, rigorous, and surprising history of Dorothy L. Sayers and her circle is a clear-eyed, optimistic look at a particularly critical stage in the evolution of feminism. It offers both a fresh look at the past and real insight into the ways we might collectively shape a better future * Kristen Roupenian, author of Cat Person And Other Stories *

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