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Dorothy L. Sayers

British author, translator, and Christian humanist.; British author, translator, and Christian humanist.; Born: June 13, 1893 in Oxford, UK; Died: August 28, 1957 in Witham, Essex, UK

Headshot of Dorothy L. Sayers


  • B.A. with first-class honours in Modern Languages and Medieval Literature, Somerville College, Oxford, 1916.
  • M.A., Somerville College, Oxford, 1920.

Sayers studied Latin from age six (Greek somewhat later) and maintained a life-long love especially for medieval Latin. Her criticism of the old-fashioned grammar translation method, as well as her suggestions on how to reform the teaching of Latin, should be compulsory reading for lovers of Wheelock's Latin Grammar and similar books.

Dorothy Sayers about the value of Classics

"The best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and mediaeval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least fifty percent. It is the key to the vocabulary and structure of all the Teutonic languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences and to the literature of the entire Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents."

(From : Dorothy Sayers, The Lost Tools of Learning, lecture given at Oxford University in 1947)
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