As Marlowe, Milton, Goethe, and every other writer who has meddled with the Devil has discovered, the chief difficulty is to prevent this sympathetic character from becoming the hero of the story.

Dorothy L. Sayers, in the foreword to The Devil To Pay

If God’s so harsh a stepfather to His sons
Then must we turn adventurers, and carve out
Our own road to salvation. Here’s to change! (Drinks.)
O the wine’s brave; it dances in the blood
And whirls in the brain, glowing and giving life
As though the vintagers had put in prison
The very sun, and pressed him with the grapes
Till all the vats ran fire.
(aside) And so it should,
Seeing what cellars it came from.

Mephistopheles, in Dorothy L. Sayers’s The Devil To Pay

The best morals kids get from any book is just the capacity to empathize with other people, to care about the characters and their feelings. So you don’t have to write a preachy book to do that. You just have to make it a fun book with characters they care about, and they will become better people as a result.

Louis Sachar (via observando)

(via teacoffeebooks)


Gaudy Night walking tour of Oxford! I realize I’m the only one who cares, but I care a lot.

— — — —

Balliol, alumnus Peter Wimsey. Shrewsbury is fictional, so, no photos of that.

The punts and the ducks on the river.

An antiques shop on the High.

The Radcliffe Camera. I was able to go inside with a reader’s card (it’s gorgeous!), but unfortunately they don’t let anyone up on the roof anymore.

The lights at the corner of Broad, Hollywell, and Cat streets (Yes; No; Wait); and the Bridge of Sighs at dusk.

St Cross Church — the location of the wedding in Busman’s Honeymoon, 8 October 1935 — is now an archives room for Balliol.

(via theodoradove)