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Mutual Admiration Society

Mutual Admiration Society

A group biography of renowned crime novelist Dorothy L. Sayers and the Oxford women who stood at the vanguard of equal rights

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.
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Genre: Biography & True Stories

On Sale: 7th May 2020

Price: £9.99

ISBN-13: 9781472154453

Reviews

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
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
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
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
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
A blend of group biography and social history, Mutual Admiration Society tells a quintessentially English story
Francis Wilson, The Times
Well-written and fascinating, it's equally successful as a biography and social history
Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express
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
Mo Moulton shows [Dorothy L.] Sayers setting out in Gaudy Night, her most psychologically astute and least conventional novel, to present her own philosophy of women's intrinsic intellectual equality . . . Moulton's book sheds new light on Sayers's evolution as a writer, showing how some of her best work occurred in collaboration with her friend Muriel St. Clare Byrne
The New Yorker