When Dorothy L. Sayers was a translator and other things the 1921 Census tells us.

Dorothy L Sayers in 1928

If you have an interest in Golden Age Mysteries set in England in the 1920s, then you may be interested in this BBC article: ‘Census 1921 – 100-year-old secrets revealed’

The data from the 1921 census is now in the public domain and some of it gives interesting insights into Britain as it was three years after the end of The Great War.

For example, Dorothy L. Sayers, whose first novel, ‘Whose Body’ wouldn’t be published until 1923, was living in a boarding house on the night in 1921 when the census was conducted. Here’s how she described herself:

If you’d like to know who the women were that she shared the boarding house with and what they did for a living, go to the BBC article.

You’ll also learn about the real Downton Abbey on census day and see the comments made by wounded soldiers who did not feel that they’d returned to ‘A land fit for for heroes’ as Lloyd George had promised.


Census 1921 – 100-year-old secrets revealed

A unique snapshot of life one midsummer night – just over 100 years ago – reveals, among other things, life in the real Downton Abbey, how slum families pleaded for better homes, and why a man from Yorkshire wasn’t able to divorce his wife.

Pages from the 1921 Census – made available for the first time – reveal glimpses of some of the lives of the 38 million people living in England and Wales on the evening of 19 June that year. At the time, the country was recovering from the shocks of World War One and the Spanish flu pandemic.

BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59879470

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