I was very excited to start reading Gaudy Night for the mere reason of it featuring a female detective. I loved reading the Nancy Drew books when I was younger so I was hoping for a very Nancy Drew experience while reading Gaudy Night. Although I did not like Harriet as much as Nancy as far as female detectives go, I still enjoyed seeing a lady detective in action. So far we have only seen the men taking the lead on these mysteries.
While researching Dorothy L. Sayers and Gaudy Night, I found that Sayers attended a school quite similar to Shrewsbury College in the novel. Several people claimed that Harriet is Sayers and Shrewsbury is Somerville, where Sayers attended school. After learning this, it was very interesting to read the rest of the novel.
In the novel, there is talk about a woman’s proper role in society as being a housewife. It is clear that there are still some blurred lines when it comes to the acceptance of a woman getting a higher education. Harriet has done well for herself as a writer and seems a bit let down by the women who were in her class who have seemed to go nowhere in their lives. It’s hard to read this novel and understand the issue of women achieving a higher education because it is fully accepted in our society today. I can’t imagine living in a society where being an educated woman was looked down upon. I’m very thankful to be living in the time that I am.