My heart belongs to Lord Peter Wimsey. That is, more accurately, it is occupied in approximately equal parts by Messrs. Darcy, Knightley, and Tilney, and Lord Peter Wimsey. The only ordering of that list, I caution, is alphabetical.
Unlike Jane Austen’s heroes, with perhaps the exception of Henry Tilney, whose conversation equals Lord Peter’s, Lord Peter was entirely pleasing from the first moment that I met him, swearing in a taxi, on his way to a sale of rare manuscripts. Every inch the gentleman, Lord Peter is all charm and manners, cleverly artificing a great depth of feeling behind urbane inanity, with admirable capacity to maintain a steady stream of circuitous conversational nonsense.
Maybe because I’m finally getting old enough that I feel it’s time I start embracing the things that I love, instead of apologizing for them (or for the fervor with which I hold them dear), I decided that this is the year I will start celebrating Lord Peter Wimsey’s birthday. I looked through my books, and I scoured the internet, only to discover that Dorothy Sayers never gave Lord Peter a birthday, only a year (1890). I feel certain, however, that it must have been a merry hour, in which a star danced: perhaps a day in June.
Since the birthdays of other people are considerably more enjoyable than one’s own birthday, why not celebrate Lord Peter’s? Preferably while clad in period costume, with fine wine, and above all else, while wearing a monocle.