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Lord Peter Wimsey

Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey is a fictional character in a series of detective novels and short stories by Dorothy L. Sayers. He is the main character in those works, in which he solves mysteries -- usually murder mysteries. The tales all take place in a setting contemporary to when they were written, in the 1920s thru 1940s.


Roy Ridley,
whose appearance Dorothy L. Sayers used for Lord Peter Wimsey
Lord Peter's fictional life starts in 1890. His elder brother Gerald inherited the (fictional) title Duke of Denver from their father, and their sister Lady Mary marries Peter's friend, police detective Charles Parker, after they meet when her fiancÚ is murdered in Clouds of Witness. Lord Peter was educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford, where he received a "double first" in history. He served in World War I and got a bad case of shell shock, which causes him occasional problems throughout the books. He has a manservant, Bunter, whom he met when he served with him in the war. Bunter is a man of at least as many talents as Lord Peter: Photography is one of them. When Bunter finally finds a wife, in Thrones, Dominations, she is a professional photographer; their son Peter Meredith Bunter is born in December 1937. During World War II Lord Peter serves in military intelligence, and his nephew Lord St. George is a fighter pilot..

In Strong Poison Lord Peter meets Harriet Deborah Vane and falls in love with her. Harriet is a mystery writer on trial for the murder of her ex-lover. She finally accepts his proposal in Gaudy Night, and they marry, on October 8, 1935, in Busman's Honeymoon and then find a murder victim in Talboys, a home she had loved from childhood, often passing it when out with her doctor father on his rounds, and which Lord Peter has bought, as a wedding present for her, to be their country house. They have three children: Bredon Delgardie Peter Wimsey (born in October 1936 in the story The Haunted Policeman and featured in the 1942 story Talboys); Roger Wimsey (born 1938), and Paul Wimsey (born 1940).

Among Lord Peter's hobbies, apart from criminology, is collecting incunabula, and he is an expert on matters of food (especially wine) and male fashion, as well as on classical music. He is quite good at playing Bach's works for keyboard instruments on a piano he babies even more than his books, wines, and cars. One of Lord Peter's cars is a 12-cylinder ("double-six"), 4-seated 1927 Daimler[?] named "Mrs. Merdle" after a character in Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens.

Novels with year of first publication:

Short story collections with Wimsey stories:

Movies & television:

Some of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels were made into two very successful television series by the BBC. Lord Peter Wimsey is played by Ian Carmichael during the seventies series of five novels and by Edward Petherbridge[?] in the later series of three, in which Harriet Vane is played by Harriet Walter[?]. Both series are now available on videotape. There was a 1935 British movie of The Silent Passenger in which Lord Peter solved a mystery on the boat train crossing the English Channel, but the film does not seem to be available on videotape, at least in the U.S. The 1940 movie The Haunted Honeymoon (American) or Busman's Honeymoon (British), starring Robert Montgomery and Constance Cummings[?] as Lord and Lady Peter, is available on videotape in generic boxes on the secondary market. (In the film Murder Must Advertise, a movie poster of Robert Montgomery is prominently visible on the wall in the secretaries' office.)

Books about Lord Peter by other authors:

As a footnote, Lord Peter Wimsey has also been included by the science fiction writer Philip Jose Farmer as a member of the Wold Newton family.



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