The Zeal of Gervase of Canterbury: Politics and Intrigue Behind the Source Text for Dorothy L. Sayers’s The Zeal of Thy House


  • Kathryn Wehr Independent Scholar


Dorothy L. Sayers based her 1937 Canterbury Friends’ Festival play The Zeal of Thy House on Gervase of Canterbury’s historical account of the burning and rebuilding of Canterbury Cathedral. This article explores the disparate motivations and purposes behind Gervase’s more scholarly account and Sayers’s fictional work of drama.


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Author Biography

  • Kathryn Wehr, Independent Scholar

    Kathryn Wehr (PhD, St Andrews) is the editor and annotator of Dorothy L. Sayers's The Man Born to be King: Wade Annotated Edition (IVP, 2023). Her other scholarly writing has appeared in The Journal of Inklings StudiesLogos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and CultureAmerican Benedictine ReviewMount Carmel, Presence, Theology and Sexuality and St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly.  She is the managing editor of the quarterly Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN, where she especially enjoys selecting cover art and writing the Art Notes.