Feb. 20th, 2009

fictional: (regency)
Item: Lord Peter Wimsey.

Sadly Dorothy Sayers wrote Lord Peter mysteries of a finite number, and then moved onto religious plays, and Dante of all things...[and I say, wasn't one infernal poet enough??? I ask you. When the world could have been blessed with tales of Lady Peter (nee Miss Harriet Deborah Vane) and the Wimsey sproglets in WWII to say nothing of Bunter & Lord Peter's engrossing activities in Intelligence as well as those of Viscount St. George alias Jerry (it occurs to me that nickname couldn't have done him any favors in the RAF, now could it???) and his adventures in the Battle of Britain... from where I am sure he effected a daring escape of some kind, Miss Sayers' opinion to the contrary. And Winnifred. Perhaps we might actually meet her. And some more Dowager Duchess wouldn't come amiss. But I digress.]

So, okay, you read all the mysteries, then move on to the continuations by Jill Paton Walsh, then you want more. Naturally, being a person of sound taste and judgement, you proceed to the Wimsey fanfic on the web, all of it being of a surprising quality, but small in number. (Perhaps the explanation of the former lies in the latter.) You watch the filmed adaptations (Strong Poison and Have His Carcase excellent; Gaudy Night unforgivably awful).

And then? What then?

There are numerous directions to go: one can proceed to the incomparable Miss Heyer for the regency worldbuilding tinged with a gorgeous and delightful twenties/thirties aesthetic - (Incidentally Lord Peter's world, and Heyer's Regency are... surprisingly similar, now that I think of it. Including rhythms of phrase, etc.; says something about our tendency to merrily and muddily accept anything prewar and historical as "back then")... and know the path from there is straight towards comedies of manners, and probably on into fantasies of manners. Unexceptionable, what?

But suppose that's not desired... one can go and read inspirational texts... not the spiritual kind (not the chicken soup meaning anyway), but the ones that have their genesis in love. I've got Lois McMaster Bujold at my fingertips... and I remember my last reread of the Sayers oeuvre was in fact a sort of reverse application of this phenomenon -- I was desperate for more Miles Vorkosigan, and clearly the only thing to do was apply poultice of Lord Peter and hope for the best.

However! Ruthlessly back to the original quandary. One could go straight into P.G. Wodehouse say, and maybe after that wind up with a little Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in A Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)... and then... maybe a soup├žon of Evelyn Waugh? Or backwards instead and choosing to indulge in a little, as Lord Peter might say, coming over all Galsworthy? I've always meant to give the Forsyte saga another wallop. And from thence backwards to Miss Austen? And then through to Emily Eden's "The Semi Attached Couple" and oh golly, back to la belle Georgette. A person could get dizzy with all this perambulating backwards and forwards in time.

[Incidentally, it occurs to me there is something quite Wimsey-esque to the Doctor and his TARDIS. Screwdriver/monocle, TARDIS/enviable Lagonda, post-(Time)war PTSD -- the arrogance, and the angst over condemning those that must be condemned... the list goes on and on. There's the fun of it all too.

Anyone up for a Tennant-Wimsey remake????

Incidentally, I wonder what pre-WWII era Torchwood would have made of Lord Peter....

...I but stir the pot.]


Thoughts? The important thing is to have a Plan.

Also, I really need a "reading books" icon.

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kali

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