One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Mutual Admiration Society by Mo Moulton

THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY

How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women


A group biography of renowned crime novelist Dorothy L. Sayers and the Oxford women who stood at the vanguard of equal rights.

Dorothy L. Sayers is now famous for her Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane detective series, but she was equally well known during her life for an essay asking “Are Women Human?” Women’s rights were expanding rapidly during Sayers’s lifetime; she and her friends were some of the first women to receive degrees from Oxford. Yet, as historian Mo Moulton reveals, it was clear from the many professional and personal obstacles they faced that society was not ready to concede that women were indeed fully human.

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A group biography of renowned crime novelist Dorothy L. Sayers and the Oxford women who stood at the vanguard of equal rights.

Dorothy L. Sayers is now famous for her Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane detective series, but she was equally well known during her life for an essay asking “Are Women Human?” Women’s rights were expanding rapidly during Sayers’s lifetime; she and her friends were some of the first women to receive degrees from Oxford. Yet, as historian Mo Moulton reveals, it was clear from the many professional and personal obstacles they faced that society was not ready to concede that women were indeed fully human.

Dubbing themselves the Mutual Admiration Society, Sayers and her classmates remained lifelong friends and collaborators as they fought for a truly democratic culture that acknowledged their equal humanity. A celebration of feminism and female friendship, The Mutual Admiration Society offers crucial insight into Dorothy L. Sayers and her world.

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  • Basic Books
  • Hardcover
  • November 2019
  • 384 Pages
  • 9781541644472

Buy the Book

$30.00

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About Mo Moulton

Mo Moulton is currently a lecturer in the history department of the University of Birmingham. They earned their PhD in history from Brown University in 2010 and taught in the History & Literature program at Harvard University for six years. Their previous book, Ireland and the Irish in Interwar England, was named a 2014 “Book of the Year” by History Today and was the runner-up for the Royal History Society’s 2015 Whitfield Prize for first book in British or Irish history. Moulton regularly writes for outlets such as The Atlantic, Public Books, Disclaimer Magazine, and the Toast. They live in London, UK.

Praise

“Moulton, with a keen eye for humorous detail and moments of humanity, deftly captures not only the lives of these women, but the enduring power of female friendship.”Booklist (starred review)

“Sign me up as an admirer of Mo Moulton’s The Mutual Admiration Society, a fresh and invigorating narrative that brings to life a close-knit coterie of brilliant Oxford women. Spanning eight decades and two world wars, Moulton’s deeply researched group biography has a message for today — one about intellectual integrity and the enduring power of a scholarly female community.”Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller and Elizabeth Bishop

“If you already know and love the work of Dorothy L. Sayers, Moulton will help you understand her better; if you don’t, let this gorgeous work — whose intense focus on women’s humanity, ambitions, and life-sustaining friendships echoes the very best of Sayers’s novels — be part of your introduction.”Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know

“In this compelling book, Moulton shows how six women inspired and supported one another for decades. This moving account of their collective bond is required reading, not only for Dorothy Sayers aficionados, but for anyone interested in queer lives and in the history of friendship.” Sharon Marcus, author of The Drama of Celebrity