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The Mutual Admiration Society : how Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford circle remade the world for women

Moulton, Mo2019
"Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was a renowned crime novelist who achieved fame and fortune during a period that historian Mo Moulton calls 'the day after the revolution.' In a time when just as many doors were closed to women as open, Sayers found professional success with her Lord Peter Wimsey novels. Yet she never could have done it without the cohort of remarkable women she met at university -- all of whom would go on to challenge societal norms and fight for equality of opportunity in their own way. In 1912, Dorothy L. Sayers and five friends founded a writing group at Somerville College, Oxford; they called themselves the 'Mutual Admiration Society.' Smart, bold, serious, and funny, these women were also sheltered and chaperoned, barred from receiving degrees despite taking classes and passing exams. But within a few short years, World War I rapidly expanded the rights and opportunities available to women, including the right to vote (1918) and access to the professions (1919). In October 1920, members of the MAS returned to Oxford to receive full degrees. Mutual Admiration Society follows these six women as they navigate the complexities of adulthood, work, intimacy, and sex in Interwar England. Bringing these women to vivid life, Moulton reveals how Dorothy L. Sayers was intimately intertwined with the members of the MAS -- and how, together, they fought their way into modernity"--
London : Corsair, 2019.
ix, 372 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 299-356) and index.
Arriving at Oxford -- Mutual Admiration Society on stage and page -- University passions -- Battle fronts -- Teach or marry? -- Detection and despair -- Professional motherhood -- Sleepless nights -- Departures and reunions -- Subversive spinster -- The problem of marriage -- Does it please you? -- What the busman wrought -- War breaks out -- Service and identity -- The Greengate Hospital -- Running to stand still -- Bridgeheads to the future -- Friendship and triumphs -- Legacies.
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