Monday, June 26, 2017

Facts That Aren't (Dorothy Sayers)

So, Thursday Janice and I headed up to Seattle to see a play at the Taproot Theater. It's been so long since we've been there that the theater we'd gone to last time (where we saw SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE) has since burned down and they've shifted to a new location (v. nice).

This time we had come to see BUSMAN'S HONEYMOON, having heard it recommended by friend Jeff ( We enjoyed the play -- they didn't quite nail it, but it was good fun nonetheless. But my scholar's soul can't let pass one error in the program book.

In the director's notes (page A2 in the program book), he says 

"Sayers intrigued me -- and as a member of The Inklings
she was surrounded by a cadre of writers like C. S. Lewis 
and J. R. R. Tolkien. Clearly she ran with very smart people"

--the last bit ('very smart people') is true enough, but the part about being an Inkling isn't. In the words of C. S. Lewis, cofounder (w. Tolkien) of the group, "She never met our own club [The Inklings] . . . and probably never knew of its existence" (THE INKLINGS, p. 189). 

All in all, though, an enjoyable evening. I'd gladly go there again. And it got Janice and myself thinking back over the Petherbridge adaptations in the 80s -- is it really that many years ago? -- and the Carmichael ones a decade or so before that. Seeing how many classic mysteries and series have been remade in recent years, I'm surprised these haven't been redone. One can hope . . .

current reading: THREE HEARTS & THREE LIONS (just finished) by Poul Anderson. #II.3380.
ANATHEMATA (read aloud) by David Jones.

my favorite Sayers mystery: STRONG POISON. runner up: prob. NINE TAILORS (despite the silly method-of-murder)


David Bratman said...

A more serious error, reported by your friend Jeff, is the program book's neglecting to credit Sayers' co-author, Muriel St. Clair Byrne.

Calling Sayers an Inkling is a common enough error that a casual example is not one I'd concern myself with. I should point out, as your friend Jeff mentions the Wade Center, that of the 7 authors collected there, 4 are considered Inklings, 2 had nothing to do with them personally (they're there for intellectual compatibility and inspiration), and Sayers was not an Inkling but affiliated insofar as she was a friend of Lewis and Williams.

I've never seen the play of Busman's Honeymoon, though I would have happily attended this were I in the area. I've read the published text, which is shared in a volume with a (single-author) Sayers romantic comedy called Love All, which we once did in a readers' theatre version at Mythcon (in a text abridged by Sherwood Smith - it needed the abridgment, but was delightful in its shortened form).

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear David:

Yes, I'd completely forgotten about the play, and its co-authorship, until Jeff mentioned them, though in fact when I read it years ago I preferred the play to the subsequent novel (not her best).

But I was trying to keep my post relatively focused, for once, and so steered away from comments on that, on this being the one Sayers novel we know Tolkien didn't read, on the dust-up between the plays' editor, Alzina Stone Dale, and Sayers scholar Barbara Reynolds, et al.

Sorry to have missed the MythSoc performance of LOVE ALL; sounds fun.

--current reading: OPERATION CHAOS by Poul Anderson