Monday, December 26, 2011

Top Ten Dorothy Sayers' Quotes

These are the Dorothy Sayers' mysteries I read in 2011!

Whose Body?, Clouds of Witness Unnatural Death, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. Five Red Herrings. Strong Poison. Have His Carcase. Murder Must AdvertiseGaudy Night. Nine Tailors. Busman's Honeymoon.

And one of my favorite things about the series--besides, of course, how giddy-making Lord Peter Wimsey is--is how quotable the books are! So here are my TOP TEN (not in any order) quotes from the series:

From Whose Body?

1. "One demands a little originality in these days, even from murderers," said Lady Swaffham. "Like dramatists, you know--so much easier in Shakespeare's time, wasn't it? Always the same girl dressed up as a man, and even that borrowed from Boccaccio or Dante or somebody. I'm sure if I'd been a Shakespeare hero, the very minute I saw a slim-legged young page-boy I'd have said: "Odsbodikins! There's that girl again!" (123)

2. "Look here, Wimsey--you've been reading detective stories; you're talking nonsense." (29)

From Clouds of Witnesses:

3. "Mother said--well, I told you what she said. By the way, how do you spell ipecacuanhna?"
Mr. Parker spelt it.
"Damn you!" said Lord Peter. "I did think I'd stumped you that time. I believe you went and looked it up beforehand. No decent-minded person would know how to spell ipecacuanha out of his own head. Anyway, as you were saying, it's easy to see which side of the family has the detective instinct."
"I didn't say so--"
"I know. Why didn't you? I think my mother's talents deserve a little acknowledgment. I said so to her, as a matter of fact, and she replied in these memorable words: 'My dear child, you can give it a long name if you like, but I'm an old-fashioned woman, and I call it mother-wit, and it's so rare for a man to have it that if he does you write a book about him and call him Sherlock Holmes.'" (97)

From Strong Poison:
After the *first* proposal

4.  "Why? Oh, well--I thought you'd be rather an attractive person to marry. That's all. I mean, I sort of took a fancy to you. I can't tell you why. There's no rule about it, you know."
"I see. Well, it's very nice of you."
"I wish you wouldn't sound as if you thought it was rather funny. I know I've got a silly face, but I can't help that. As a matter of fact, I'd like somebody I could talk sensibly to, who would make life interesting. And I could give you lots of plots for your books, if that's any inducement."
"But you wouldn't want a wife who wrote books, would you?"
"But I should; it would be great fun. So much more interesting than the ordinary kind that is only keen on clothes and people. Though of course, clothes and people are all right too, in moderation. I don't mean to say I object to clothes." (45)

5. "If anybody ever marries you, it will be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle," said Harriet, severely.
"A humiliating reason, but better than no reason at all." (128)

From Have His Carcase:

6. "Darling, if you danced like an elderly elephant with arthritis, I would dance the sun and moon into the sea with you. I have waited a thousand years to see you dance in that frock."
"Idiot!" said Harriet (151).
From Five Red Herrings:

7. The essence of detection is secrecy. It has no business to be spectacular. But you can watch me if you like. (218)

From Gaudy Night:

8.   "Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?"
"So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am seldom perfectly sober. Which accounts for my talking so much." (330)

9. "I don't know. I have a reputation for flippant insincerity. You think I'm honest?"
"I know you are. I couldn't imagine your being anything else." (382)

From Busman's Holiday:

10. "I am always trying to say something too silly to be believed; but I never manage it." (256)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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