In Writing for the Masses: Dorothy L. Sayers and the Victorian Literary Tradition Dr. Christine A. Colón explores how Sayers carefully negotiates the complexities of early twentieth century literary culture by embracing a specifically Victorian literary tradition of writing to engage a wide audience. Using a variety of examples from Sayers’s detective fiction, essays, and religious drama, Dr. Colón charts Sayers’s development as a writer whose intense desire to connect with her audience eventually compels her to embrace the role of a Victorian sage for her own age. Ultimately, the Victorian literary tradition not only provides her with an empowering model for her own work as she struggles as a writer of detective fiction to balance her integrity as an artist with her desire to reach a mass audience but also facilitates her growth as a public intellectual as she strives to help her nation recover from the devastation of World War II.
Christine A. Colón is Associate Professor of English at Wheaton College, Illinois. She received her doctorate in English from the University of California at Davis and has published a number of articles on Romantic and Victorian authors, a monograph entitled Joanna Baillie and the Art of Moral Influence (Peter Lang 2009), and a popular work entitled Singled Out: Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today’s Church (Brazos 2009), which won an award of merit from Christianity Today in 2010.