Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Read Dorothy Sayers! with Kathryn Wehr

Read Dorothy Sayers! with Kathryn Wehr

March 16, 2023

Kathryn Wehr is a scholar specializing in the religious drama of Dorothy L. Sayers and the editor of the just-released The Man Born to be King, Wade Annotated Edition. Kathryn's broader research interests include theology and the arts, spiritual formation, and church history. She holds a PhD in Divinity from the University of St Andrews (Scotland). I think you will really enjoy this conversation with Kathryn Wehr. 

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Well, i'm so glad that everybody has come along today for this special podcast, and I just readily admit that there are ways that I have heard about Dorothy Sayers for many years, but I unfortunately have not been a reader of Dorothy Sayers. So I want you to avoid my mistakes, and so to do that I have brought in Catherine, where, who is a scholar of Dorothy Sayers, and she has this great new volume out. I'm going to put it up on the screen. The man born to be king, and we're going to talk more specifically about it.

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Katy Wehr: But Katherine has her Phd. From the University of Saint Andrews. She's, a creative artist and scholar. She is the publisher. She's the editor of Logos, a journal of Catholic thought and culture. And so we are so gag glad, Katherine, to have you into the podcast. Yeah, Great and really excited to be here.

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Andy Miller III: Well just tell us a little bit about yourself, and that might help us understand how you got to the place of getting so in depth in this research about Dorothy Sayers in her plays.

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Katy Wehr: Sure. Yeah. Well, i'm from Minnesota. That's where i'm broadcasting from here today. And I was raised. Baptist and I went to Bethel University here also in Saint Paul, and then and then I discovered liturgies I was in. I was an angle ken for about 20 years

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Katy Wehr: bilingual, and but particularly from my time I, as an Anglican, say, I got to know Dorothy I's who is herself and Anglican, or was an Anglican.

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Katy Wehr: so I first encountered the manborn speaking. That was my first introduction to her work when I was a student at Regent College in Vancouver.

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Katy Wehr: and because I, my first degree, was in theater. So I thought, oh, plays yeah, sure it should be right up my alley. And so. But that was kind of my my entrance into her work, because

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Katy Wehr: I love about her that she has all kinds of different genres

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so sometimes that's why sometimes people aren't as familiar with her, because.

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Katy Wehr: or they might know just part of her work. So they might just know her mystery novels, or they might just know her work on Dante, which was like the last

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Katy Wehr: 1315 years of her life.

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Katy Wehr: They might just know some of her essays which are amazing. Some of her wartime writings which were all about like, what kind of world do we want to build once this once World War Ii is over.

00:03:10.740 --> 00:03:11.750

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Katy Wehr: It's just a treasure trove, and and as someone who loves doing creative work, it gives me hope that, like oh, there's always new time. There's there's time to develop a new idea, a new genre to learn something new like

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Katy Wehr: she I mean. Her specialty from university was in medieval French, but she taught herself medieval Italian so that she could work on Dante, and that was in her forties. So you think? Oh, well.

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Andy Miller III: I have plenty of time. There you go. It's so interesting now, I I think probably the way I knew her writing in the most was just through the letters, like various times. There'd be letters published.

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Andy Miller III: I'm kind of come to this podcast embarrassed that I haven't read her more. And then, when I got into your book, I thought, man, I've really been missing out. What was her connection then to? I mean it. It's kind of like through the famous

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Katy Wehr: Tolkien Cs. Lewis, and then probably a connection to Gk. Chesterton as well that these are kind of like the

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Andy Miller III: the heroes, and not just it it Christian evangelical intellectualism, and not just evangelical, but across traditions. If you are indicated. And so

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Andy Miller III: that's probably the way that I knew her the the most. But why is it? Is it because it did the diversity of her writings that she's not been act, or or maybe am I? Just wait. Somebody sitting in the dark too much. And what what is it that keeps her from the people attaching to her sooner.

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I think that's a that's a good question.

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Katy Wehr: It's it's funny, because during her lifetime, as you mentioned, so she she we know that she read a lot of Gk. Chesterton as a young woman, she writes in her letters back and forth with her parents like, oh, you should read this, and

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Katy Wehr: and also like 10 years before he actually became Catholic, she said to her, wrote to her parents like, I've heard he's about to, you know, cross the Tiber so.

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Katy Wehr: And then she got to know Charles Williams

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Katy Wehr: books by writing to him. I think that's how they first connected. But then he ended up recommending her to write a play for the Canterbury Festival, because he had written

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Katy Wehr: What was it.

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Katy Wehr: anyway? His Canterbury festival play in 19 Probably 35 0r 34, and then she ended up writing through his influence the 1936 Canterbury festival play at Canterbury Cathedral. So these cathedrals at the time are doing these big Arts Festival. So she wrote a play

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Katy Wehr: which was called the Zeal of thy House. So but then she did get to know him more, and they met in person more later. Then, trying to think. I think it was 1943 that she got to know Cs lewis and I think, because they had a mutual friend in Charles Williams.

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Katy Wehr: and so they they got to know each other a little bit. But then, once Charles Williams died, actually they collaborated on a book of essays in his honor

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Katy Wehr: until she died in 1957. There's lots of letters between them about the things that each of them are writing, and so, you know, because he was a medieval scholar, right? So she

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Katy Wehr: things tried to wrote for into a couple of different projects like he tried to get her to write a book on sort of against women priests that became his essay. You know

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Katy Wehr: about priestesses, I think.

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like you know, stick with the historic precedence. I think we'll probably be the strongest argument.

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Katy Wehr: And then yeah, so they had a fun relationship. And actually, there's a lot of fun. Little things like. She would write him make little drawings of her cats or her chickens, and they would go back and forth joking. She. She wrote a whole letter to him very early in their friendship, in the style of the screwtape letters

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Andy Miller III: to screw Tape. So interesting. Wow! It's a fascinating. So how did you get. So you just you did, I guess, in your doctoral research in in writing on Dorothy L. Sayer. So what was your I mean? It's this book isn't we're going to get into what makes it distinct.

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Andy Miller III: I'm looking at the plays around the life of Christ. But what was your research in? Specifically?

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Katy Wehr: Yeah. So I. When I was

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Katy Wehr: deciding on a doctoral topic. I I thought of these place because I had been using them as examples in the class I was teaching at North Central University. I was teaching a theology class, and it was kind of theology and the arts, and so I. I would always reserve a day to read one of the plays allowed, or a few scenes.

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Katy Wehr: And so, as I was trying to decide what I wanted to write on, I thought, what's something that I, you know at least know something about. So far so. And since I had written about it in my

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Katy Wehr: masters, I thought, Well, Why, Don't, I see what you know what research there is, and there really wasn't much at all

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Katy Wehr: in in and out of publication ever since 1,943, and then has been re-recorded by the BBC. A couple of times

00:09:12.430 --> 00:09:19.300
Katy Wehr: it was let's say there's wide open for a researcher.

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Katy Wehr: My first thought was to to answer a couple of questions that biographers were saying. Like they were, they were saying, oh, she really prefers the gospel of John.

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Katy Wehr: and I thought.

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Katy Wehr: and and I thought, well, n0 0ne really talks about how she develops that. So

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Katy Wehr: So yeah. So I ended up doing a dissertation. You know it's sort of a normal sort of book, where a different chapter one takes on her script Use of Scripture one

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Katy Wehr: and then her secondary sources, because she, in her introduction. She credits several books, and n0 0ne. There was one study that someone had done at a conference on that. So I started there, but found lots of other connections.

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Katy Wehr: I mean. There's so much information there. But how can you make it useful t0 0thers? And so that's what is so exciting about this new addition is that i'm able to bring that information and make it useful to readers.

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Katy Wehr: So yeah.

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Andy Miller III: in the idea with the W. What she was approached by the BBC. To develop these plays, and so when she did, she wanted to be very specific, and she she was wanting to use common English, and she was wanting to like really make making Christ. The character was an issue for her right like that. That. There, there' be challenges with that. And certainly this was a controversial

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Katy Wehr: set of plays like. After the first set was released there was like a committee put, so tell us about some of that like? Why, Why, this was such a a dramatic event! What are like her putting this out, and what she was trying to do? And then I want to get into the ways that you what you did in your volume to help us kind of like, enjoy it more

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Katy Wehr: sure. Yeah. So I mean it. It's a very interesting story, as you said. The BBC. Commissioned the place, and she had already written one Nativity Play for the BBC. That was a success. It's called he that should come, and just a one our Nativity play that takes place in sort of the the yard of the in in Bethlehem

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Katy Wehr: desire. So he he's saying, like, we need to help the heathen of this country. Get to that crisis. You know they're not reading their Bible, so why Don't. We put it on the radio

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and that kind of thing, you know. So and she.

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Katy Wehr: you know, I mean. she is obviously a Christian of a very active Christian, especially at this point. She's she's writing a lot of essays about spiritual themes, that kind of thing.

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Katy Wehr: So you know she she's definitely understands his point of view, but she feels very clearly that her job is to write the best plays possible

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Katy Wehr: and make it real to people that he was a real person living in a real time in real situations, real people coming to him to be healed, to push back on what he's saying to you know, eventually crucify him. Then people will.

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Katy Wehr: you know, if I present Christ? Truly

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Katy Wehr: she's famous for saying the dogma is the drama

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Katy Wehr: like if we really understood what the creed say, we would be shocked, and it would be know that it's like the most dramatic thing in existence

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Katy Wehr: that God actually became man and walked among us and then died for us. It was again so.

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Katy Wehr: anyway, so that she right. So Welch asked her to write the plays.

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Katy Wehr: and then she had some very specific things right from the beginning. She had very clear ideas, so, as she said, she wanted to use everyday English.

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Katy Wehr: but she really wanted Christ to be a character which had not been done.

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Andy Miller III: That's that's right, and that's partly because of laws that were in place from the Reformation

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Katy Wehr: Kabash on all theater

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Katy Wehr: but you. You might have a play about Christ from the point of view of other people. So you know the disciples telling the story. But Christ wouldn't appear, or there would be a voice from off stage or a light, a shaft of light that would sort of represent price, and you can see, there's there's a

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Katy Wehr: a pious intention there. People are wanting to be respectful and not.

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Katy Wehr: you know not. We make it feel blasphemous. I mean that's how it felt

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Andy Miller III: it made it.

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Katy Wehr: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, there's these wonderful letters with James Welch where they're kind of saying like, Well, we it's sort of on both sides our our silly culture. There's some people that are like. Oh, Jesus! He was just a good guy and a good teacher, you know not fully God. So that's Arianism. And then other people that

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Katy Wehr: particularly Christians who are like oh, he's! He's s0 0ther that he's not even really he right. And so she wanted to balance that, and I think she she tries very hard in a lot of her scenes to do that where she'll combine a miracle with Jesus.

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Katy Wehr: you know they think of I mean, this is even in the Scripture. But you think of the appearance in the upper room where you know Jesus comes through the locked door. But then he asks for fa, ask for food, and is given some royal fish right? So that there's this kind of balance of like, Wow, he's

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, that. And that's obviously she's wanting to. And so, by having Jesus be a real character, this is a dramatic move, and it got her

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Andy Miller III: in hot water. You want to tell us about the drama of

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Katy Wehr: there you. As I said this, the laws had to do with plays. Now, radio was kind of a new thing, but it had not been tried on the radio. The part that I didn't say is that the laws were relaxed

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Katy Wehr: just before World War one. And so people were allowed to have Jesus be a character, but they actually needed permission from the government in order to include Jesus as a character, so they would approve scripts that kind of thing. So

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radio because, of course, radio is a little more like the voice off stage.

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Katy Wehr: in a sense like Well, there's not a person here pretending to be. Jesus

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Katy Wehr: was really important, because later, you know, despite having that permission, there's so plenty of people who felt like it was.

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Katy Wehr: you know, perhaps sacrilegious to have these kinds of play. So in 1,941,

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Katy Wehr: the the first play was going to be broadcast on Christmas Day, 1,941, and so they had a a press conference, and Sayers read a little bit of the script.

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Katy Wehr: and it was a section where Matthew, the tax collector, was there, and she has unlock very much unlike chosen. She has made Matthew the you know, the all knowing kind of

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Katy Wehr: you know, urban guy. So he's the Eastern London Cockney, who, you know, knows what's what, and he, you know. So

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Katy Wehr: she read a bit at the beginning of of play, for where he's kind of chiding Philip for getting a bad deal at the market. And then this is this ends up being a set up for Jesus to tell a parable. But but

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Katy Wehr: the you know the slang. You know that that

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Katy Wehr: that Matthew uses people were shocked. And so then. But of course this is a press conference, and all these press men are there to sell papers, and so they create these headlines that are like I, for Christ plays in us slang

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Katy Wehr: on the Us.

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Katy Wehr: There's this wonderful group called the Lord's Day Observance society

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Katy Wehr: full of i'm sure wonderful well meaning Christians.

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Katy Wehr: Now. At this point n0 0ne had heard any of them. They just heard a few lines that Sarah's ran at a press conference, but it I mean. Thousands of letters came to the BBC. And I've done some work in the BBC. Archives, and so they

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Katy Wehr: they're all there like the originals there. And then

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Katy Wehr: her saying, like 9 0ut of 10 mothers in this small village bag and plea that you would not. You'd stop this thing from going on the air like people were very, very. You're worried about it. Yeah, sure.

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Katy Wehr: And people even I think 1941 right? The United States just entered the war. But Britain had been at war since 1,939, and so you know it things

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Katy Wehr: things. We're looking very grave.

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Katy Wehr: And so people felt like, If if this is, you know, sacrilegious, God won't, be pleased, and you know he. So there are people literally that wrote to the BBC. Saying, Like the fall of Singapore, is your fault. Stop these plays

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Katy Wehr: for for for for England violating this, and I think it's hard for Americans. It's okay. It's hard for me. Let's just say that i'm an American. It's hard to realize the connection between

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Andy Miller III: the BBC. The Church of England and this national identity a Christianized culture. That's so different from what we experience that that this was like a a national issue for them. It seems like that's right. Yeah, there was even

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Katy Wehr: even a a question put in the House of Commons. So there's like a a question time, and sometimes they show it on TV sometimes where any question can be addressed to the members of the House. And so there was a question saying, what are you going to do

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Katy Wehr: about these plays like? Should we stop them as the Government? And the answer from the Prime Minister was like, we'll let the BBC. Handle this so. But of course the DC. Is funded by the Government, so you know.

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Andy Miller III: and or the the plays. But your what you've done is unique, because you like you say she takes the Gospels and she we some all the guys she did it like, I don't know which one she emphasized, based upon what I've read from from you.

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Andy Miller III: but to weave them all together, even in the very first quotation, and tell us what what makes you your work, this thing, and how this helps make Dorothy Sayers work more accessible.

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Katy Wehr: Yeah.

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Well, thanks, I think when I started my research

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Katy Wehr: I was often reading along, and I would say to myself, now, which gospel is this story in? And I thought, I wish there was a there were a footnote in this edition that I had, and so that was the first kind of layer of the idea of this is saying.

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Katy Wehr: I wish sometime, and maybe now that i'm working on this place, it could be my job to create a version where at least all the Bible references are tracked. And then, of course, as I, you know, mentioned that I was one of my goals was to analyze how she was doing Scripture. So I actually took

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Katy Wehr: Kurt Alon's Synopsis of the 4 Gospels, which is a you know it takes the 4 Gospels, and it puts it in 4 columns

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Katy Wehr: and use the same pericopes we call the bit kind of chunks of Biblical text.

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Katy Wehr: It was exciting to be able then to analyze, and even numerically, as I have an article that's published on her use of the Gospels. You know where i'm able to say, You know I don't have the numbers right at the top of my head. But you know this this many times. She references. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and this percentage of her material

00:24:25.400 --> 00:24:27.100
Katy Wehr: is from John

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Katy Wehr: and or the or the Synaptic Gospels that kind of thing. And so I, just to just to say, I think she loves being very even. That's one of the things I I was able to say that her favorite stories to cover, because I? Then I could also look at what didn't she

00:24:44.100 --> 00:24:57.760
Katy Wehr: choose, you know. So anything to do the End Times anything they had to do with ritual purity, because originally these are for children. So she kind of avoided those those kinds of things or teachings on divorce or the woman cotton adultery.

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Katy Wehr: Yeah, she did have a a short relationship with someone, a man who lived in her building when this is back in her son was born in in January 1924.

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Katy Wehr: What's the word? I'm looking for advertising agency? There we go at Benson's advertising, and so but it it turns out actually he was married. He had never he had not told her that, and it was a very short

00:25:50.800 --> 00:25:59.020
Katy Wehr: lived sort of relationship, anyway, but so she had a son that ended up being raised by her cousin

00:25:59.550 --> 00:26:11.000
Katy Wehr: so. But when she married a couple of years later, he was, if her son was officially adopted by her husband.

00:26:11.050 --> 00:26:16.050
Katy Wehr: talked about even with her closest friends. It doesn't seem like she even told her parents

00:26:16.240 --> 00:26:22.540
Katy Wehr: at the time, because she wasn't. You know she was living in London. Her parents were in East Anglia. So

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Andy Miller III: yeah, I think i'm sorry for you. But but it's interesting to me that she and I think it's helpful, because maybe not just for in her own biographical, the that biographical story of what's happening in her life, but also this is for children, and like she's, she's.

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Andy Miller III: That was the clear intention that was given to her her instructions, and she was glad to accommodate that. And it's interesting as she's like working through this like she's correct, she's bringing in different sources all along the way, so that she's even you said with the with what she's able to do. Now.

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Katy Wehr: also, you you don't you, you do. You decided to do more than that, though then just highlight her, her scriptural sources. So tell us about that. Yeah. So if you look at a page. There's footnote with all Bible references, and then there are side columns.

00:27:08.980 --> 00:27:19.760
Katy Wehr: and that's where I put all the other goodies that I found on the screen for the people. What look on Youtube? You can look at that right? So there are things that appear on the side.

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Katy Wehr: There might be excerpts from her letters, because her letters back and forth with James Welch were very interesting. She'd send him a script, and she'll say you'll notice that I did this like

00:27:30.480 --> 00:27:38.700
Katy Wehr: you'll notice that I've gone with the composite, Mary meaning.

00:27:38.800 --> 00:27:58.490
Katy Wehr: and so she's knowingly choosing that she, you know she and she says, like I know that you know scholars have been starting to say it's still pretty new at that time that these were different women, but I can't have all these Mary's running around. And I, you know, for the sake of drama I am choosing to combine them. And

00:27:58.490 --> 00:28:13.930
Katy Wehr: frankly, you know, people like Augustine or Gregory the Great. They. They thought that they probably were the same person. So I'm. I'd rather be in their company than these newfangled modern scholars.

00:28:14.080 --> 00:28:21.580
Katy Wehr: Oh, I see. Okay, so at least she knew what she was doing. She was making a specific choice, not just like 0 00ps.

00:28:21.610 --> 00:28:23.300
Katy Wehr: you know. Yeah, sure.

00:28:23.510 --> 00:28:31.490
Andy Miller III: And and you you show even his interactions as well at times, like where he

00:28:31.830 --> 00:28:59.720
Katy Wehr: Yeah. And so that's the the letters are just delightful. And then there's also fan letters. So sometimes someone will write to her, and either ask her to explain something or complain like one of the other things that you know stands out for readers today is that she describes Jesus several times as having a gold beard or golden hair. And so I I, When I was first going through it before I had seen

00:28:59.720 --> 00:29:16.320
Katy Wehr: this letter where she explains it. But I was like, oh, Dorothy, because it just seemed it seems so silly. But so someone wrote and says, don't, you know Jesus had black hair. He, you know, lived in the Middle East, and she's like well, you know what you're probably right. He probably did have

00:29:16.320 --> 00:29:28.360
Katy Wehr: dark hair, but I, you know, for my readers I'm. Trying to help them connect to. You know, famous works of art which often show Jesus with a kind of goldish hue.

00:29:28.720 --> 00:29:30.910
Katy Wehr: And

00:29:31.810 --> 00:29:37.720
Katy Wehr: you know, like I, I chose that for the sake of drama, also like radio drama, I need something that

00:29:37.910 --> 00:29:39.920
Katy Wehr: can, you know, be

00:29:39.930 --> 00:29:41.040
Katy Wehr: reported

00:29:41.650 --> 00:30:00.400
Katy Wehr: audio, you know auditorially, so that the you know the the people can get a picture in their mind as they're listening like. Okay, what how could someone pick out something? You know someone there? It's like, you know who who's that now? The one getting into the water there at the with John, the baptism scene, you know.

00:30:00.400 --> 00:30:13.220
Katy Wehr: 0 0, you mean oh, you mean the one with the short gold beard. So she does that kind of thing, you know I I personally wouldn't choose that, you know we would. There'd be a different kind of conversation if, if, like.

00:30:13.220 --> 00:30:21.540
Katy Wehr: you know, Jesus in the chosen had been blonde or something.

00:30:21.560 --> 00:30:39.820
Andy Miller III: and see what she was thinking. Even if you disagree with her. She didn't even think about. And this was this is the challenge of maybe even. Why, there was some wisdom in not having Jesus be a character, not Jesus, be it now not, say i'm glad, glad for this. But I interest. I had a conversation, a podcast with the

00:30:39.820 --> 00:31:03.290
Andy Miller III: the illustrator and storyteller of the Action Bible

00:31:03.580 --> 00:31:26.970
Andy Miller III: like a looks like Superman, and so I asked him about that, and rather or not, he should do that, and he's white. And then okay, and part of me, it being a situation where often working in urban situations like I struggle with presenting Jesus as one as if he came from one region and all this sort of thing. And there's a way that you kind of want to want. I want to resist some of that. But he said some interest he's like Well.

00:31:27.090 --> 00:31:30.170
Andy Miller III: I just wanted Jesus to be as awesome as it could be

00:31:30.260 --> 00:31:38.510
Andy Miller III: to all the kids who could read it. And it that's just I just. Jesus is great, and I mean, it's very simple explanation. Yeah, I think there's something similar. It's like. Well.

00:31:38.710 --> 00:31:40.830
Andy Miller III: if we're going to make him a character.

00:31:40.970 --> 00:32:00.310
Andy Miller III: Well, we need to. He needs to have a look. And i'm i'm sorry if that offend you, but I just. I chose gold, a gold beard, so it way. Probably wasn't anything that was like very specific, but it was her desire to kind of move away from this, though set it probably spiritualized version of who Jesus had been.

00:32:00.380 --> 00:32:18.170
Katy Wehr: Yeah. So it's just like a a detail that it even from her letter. It sounds like she wasn't particularly attached to it, but it was something that she kept consistent through the place, you know it's only maybe 5 times over. The course of 5 plays to someone kind of refer to his

00:32:18.170 --> 00:32:43.790
Katy Wehr: gold hair. But you know, does it mean, like pure blonde, or just sort of a little bit of gold, you know. Gold flex in in with his dark hair. Who knows? But yeah, so those we were talking about the the side column. So the.

00:32:45.090 --> 00:32:57.960
Katy Wehr: for instance, there's one like Morrison who moved the stone is something that you people even read today. So that was one of her sources. So we're where there are important connections where we're the the author of one of the other books.

00:32:57.960 --> 00:33:10.410
So something very similar, or I I think that it might have influenced her. I I put a little excerpt, or or even just a reference in the column for those who might want to look those up or just see.

00:33:10.630 --> 00:33:16.930
Katy Wehr: And so

00:33:17.080 --> 00:33:31.080
Katy Wehr: yeah, I mean it. It is a little harder. There's one spot, you know, where she. She is puts in Jesus mouth words from the Book of Proverbs about the wisdom of God

00:33:31.080 --> 00:33:51.360
Katy Wehr: being there at creation and

00:33:51.360 --> 00:34:07.370
Katy Wehr: translation to some other people in a letter, so I know that she was at least familiar with it, but otherwise. as I mentioned, she does use the King James, her her narrator character, who she calls Evangelist.

00:34:08.650 --> 00:34:17.719
Katy Wehr: uses mostly King James. and sometimes she'll just adapt it slightly. She might knit 2 pieces together, but they're very clearly using the King James language.

00:34:17.750 --> 00:34:35.469
Katy Wehr: but otherwise there are times where she's using the Revised Version, which was really the only other major version that was available at the time

00:34:35.469 --> 00:34:49.670
Katy Wehr: in in his introduction Welch says: You know she was translating from the Greek, which I think is a little strong.

00:34:49.790 --> 00:34:56.000
Katy Wehr: but I mean she's really putting it in in her own words, because she's going for this colloquial

00:34:57.280 --> 00:35:03.720
Katy Wehr: English for her characters. But you know, but we know she's using all these things. So

00:35:03.720 --> 00:35:22.710
Katy Wehr: I it's like, you know, she's like a a scholar, even though she's writing popular plays for the radio she's using all these available tools to her and and doing it really well, like she didn't even have to. It's a popular, but she wouldn't have had to have mentioned that she used these other books as sources, but she takes the time to, you know.

00:35:22.730 --> 00:35:27.070
Cite them sort of in her introduction, and then they're there for

00:35:27.600 --> 00:35:31.440
Katy Wehr: for us now, and I tried my best to find good connections to them

00:35:31.580 --> 00:35:45.310
Katy Wehr: so

00:35:45.310 --> 00:36:01.380
Andy Miller III: little, and and even even the way that it's noted it's just through

00:36:01.440 --> 00:36:18.920
Andy Miller III: it adds to richness of it. I I really appreciate you doing this because, like I said, i'm the I was sayers ignorant like. Just see it reading a few early letters, but it just makes helps me see the depth of what she did in these

00:36:18.920 --> 00:36:48.920
Andy Miller III: 2 portions of 2 plays

00:36:48.920 --> 00:37:00.930
Andy Miller III: in the last battle where they're describing the the impact of this baby being the Creator of the universe. So you'll you'll probably know where i'm coming here. But this is Mary's, where this she's, quoting Mary.

00:37:01.290 --> 00:37:09.530
Andy Miller III: It's on page 72 0f your book, Mary says, I feel as though I were holding the whole world in my arms.

00:37:09.540 --> 00:37:22.250
Andy Miller III: the sky and the sea, and the green earth and all the seraphim. And then again, everything becomes quite simple and familiar, and I know that he is just my own dear son.

00:37:22.440 --> 00:37:35.990
Andy Miller III: If he grew up to be wiser than Moses, holier than Aaron, and more splendid than Solomon. That would still be true. He will always be my baby, my sweet Jesus whom I love.

00:37:36.010 --> 00:37:37.070
Katy Wehr: Yeah.

00:37:37.370 --> 00:37:56.150
Andy Miller III: And this is highlighting. I mean some of these I mean, what is she doing there even in that passage that's indicative of the rest of this of of these plays. Yeah. Oh, for sure, I mean that's a wonderful example of her holding together the hypostatic union. Yeah, Price, Divinity and his humanity, and

00:37:56.450 --> 00:37:59.700
Katy Wehr: that I mean, in a way, you think theologically.

00:37:59.750 --> 00:38:13.140
Katy Wehr: at the you know Council of Ephesus, when the title Theatokos was given to the Virgin Mary that that like it's actually a crystallological title, right Of whom is she the mother, the Mother of God? And so

00:38:13.140 --> 00:38:27.080
Katy Wehr: it's the same thing here, like the Virgin Mary in this scene, is kind of the the guarantee of the theology of who Jesus is that she recognizes. He is my son in a very human way. But there's also

00:38:27.310 --> 00:38:30.470
Katy Wehr: this other part of him that is connected to

00:38:30.950 --> 00:38:39.120
Katy Wehr: God, you know.

00:38:39.280 --> 00:38:40.770
Katy Wehr: There's this

00:38:40.790 --> 00:38:52.050
Katy Wehr: it's it's it's, it's it's it's it's it's, it's, it's, it's it's it's it's, it's it's a it's a it's, a it's a it's a it's a it's a

00:38:52.050 --> 00:39:12.500
Andy Miller III: the exact words, but where they're inside the the not the tent, but the little cottage, and it's like the whole world is inside that.

00:39:12.500 --> 00:39:24.530
Andy Miller III: Who is in the story of Mary and Martha, the famous kind of like Mary Martha moment, and in that she does something really unique, like she comes in and she's, she says to she says, with Jesus says

00:39:24.530 --> 00:39:43.200
Andy Miller III: highlights like, Remember this other I'm just going to instead of read it. Remember this other story I told you, and it's in. She's like You're kind of reminding me of that story. Jesus says you're right to me. Remind me of that story I told you about the prodigal sign, so she that's how she gets that telling these. And then and then Jesus.

00:39:43.420 --> 00:39:47.820
Andy Miller III: in the scene of Mary Martha, tells the parable the prodigal sign

00:40:07.190 --> 00:40:15.610
Katy Wehr: She uses Scripture in so many different ways. So it could be that the scene itself shows the scene, you know, like Christ

00:40:15.680 --> 00:40:16.680
Katy Wehr: giving

00:40:16.780 --> 00:40:29.810
Katy Wehr: a talk of, you know, including a parable, or whatever, or interacting with the Pharisees in John 6 about, you know, eating, eating my flesh and drinking my blood, or whatever. And so sometime there's a

00:40:29.830 --> 00:40:31.000
Katy Wehr: actual

00:40:31.020 --> 00:40:36.290
Katy Wehr: you know, dramatic presentation of the scene. But sometimes a scene is told

00:40:36.360 --> 00:40:44.660
Katy Wehr: in remembrance like Jesus to tells His first disciples about the temptation. Instead of having a scene where Jesus interacts with Satan.

00:40:44.710 --> 00:40:46.750
Jesus tells the story.

00:40:46.970 --> 00:41:00.940
Katy Wehr: and then they're able to kind of discuss it as they go along, and the disciples are like. 0 0, you know what? Oh, you know. So they react. And so then we get drawn into the story in a different way. And then, like, for instance, the scene you're talking about.

00:41:01.220 --> 00:41:04.800
Katy Wehr: It's a perfect example. Something Sayer says in her letters that, like

00:41:04.920 --> 00:41:24.690
Katy Wehr: Jesus, was a preacher. Preachers tell the same stories all the time.

00:41:24.720 --> 00:41:27.620
Katy Wehr: But did I tell you about the older brother

00:41:41.790 --> 00:41:57.380
Katy Wehr: piece of you, Mary? And so it's it's interesting because it's it's showing that like something that Sayers talks about like Jesus surely used stories in slightly different ways. So that's part of how you know when she's looking at the Gospels and seeing you know the slight differences between

00:41:57.380 --> 00:42:09.700
Katy Wehr: different accounts of the same story. You know slightly different ending, or slightly different situation, or whatever that well sure Jesus would, of course, tell tell the same story in a few different settings, and so

00:42:09.700 --> 00:42:21.110
Katy Wehr: there's nothing it's not about like, which one is. The is original.

00:42:21.560 --> 00:42:34.520
Katy Wehr: so just to different to different audiences at different times. So yeah. But I love I love that, and that's another one where she really blends Christ's humanity and divinity in that scene, because.

00:42:34.780 --> 00:42:46.550
Katy Wehr: you know, you mentioned we talked earlier about the we he he quotes in that same scene from the Book of Proverbs

00:42:46.700 --> 00:42:47.900

00:42:47.930 --> 00:43:07.000
Katy Wehr: a sort of an aside, for John is like a character note saying like he's. You know who it sounds almost biographical. You know that it's like

00:43:07.000 --> 00:43:31.020
Andy Miller III: helpful to think of Jesus dreaming I just had on. I don't know if they'll come out about the same time. A guy who has written a book on Jim Smith on rich Molens, the Christian singer, and he wrote a a song about Jesus being a boy and playing, and you know a little girls blushing when he walked by these type of things. So I mean it's it's helpful to think of these things because Jesus was a real man, real boy. But okay, so Jesus says.

00:43:31.330 --> 00:43:36.160
Andy Miller III: when he established the foundations of the earth, I was with him, for with Him

00:43:36.670 --> 00:43:40.100
Andy Miller III: forming all things, and I was delighted every day

00:43:40.120 --> 00:43:48.090
Andy Miller III: playing before him, playing in the world and delighting myself among the sons of God. And then you have this, that great thing where you kind of like

00:43:48.220 --> 00:44:00.740
Andy Miller III: high highlight how that's connected to Moffett's translation of Proverbs, and then it, and then it's master, a a little startled. It sounds almost autobiographical. Master of whom is that said in Jesus. And then Jesus responds

00:44:00.740 --> 00:44:15.080
Katy Wehr: of the Word and the wisdom of God, and then you have another link, of course, to what that what he might be applying with the wisdom of God. Yeah. And this is an interpretive move that she's making. But it's helping us get a fuller picture of Jesus. I love it. Yeah.

00:44:15.670 --> 00:44:22.590
Katy Wehr: but it's also paired earlier in the scene with Mark, asking, asking the the

00:44:23.140 --> 00:44:27.020
Katy Wehr: the disciple John, like, what kind of stuffing does Jesus like

00:44:27.130 --> 00:44:46.470
Katy Wehr: big stuffing all.

00:44:47.550 --> 00:44:50.950
Katy Wehr: and but that paired with this very

00:44:53.630 --> 00:45:12.160
Katy Wehr: divine moment, and she even calls it his god-consciousness, which as a theologian I was like, oh, cause that sounds like Schleire mocker, who use that word that term God consciousness to mean like, instead of being truly divine. Maybe Jesus just was sort of conscious of his godness

00:45:12.160 --> 00:45:22.690
Katy Wehr: and sort of grew into it, which is not what sayers means here. She just means that he's like most conscious of being God at this moment. and it kind of comes to the top

00:45:23.160 --> 00:45:27.330
Katy Wehr: so. But those things together, you know this kind of very homely.

00:45:27.360 --> 00:45:30.090
Katy Wehr: What kind of stuffing does he like? And

00:45:30.180 --> 00:45:35.550
Andy Miller III: he was there. I think he was playing. He was playing around like, yeah. Oh, I love it.

00:45:35.700 --> 00:45:52.100
Katy Wehr: What you mentioned to me before we came on that the Wade Center was really helpful to you, which that we in college you might just tell us a little about that. And what's happening there, and how that helped you and your research. Sure. Yeah. So this is a Wade annotated addition. So I Co. Collaborated with

00:45:52.100 --> 00:45:56.180
Katy Wehr: the weight Center because They have the largest

00:45:56.490 --> 00:46:05.740
Katy Wehr: archive of material about Sayers materials of hers in the world. So it's the place to go if you're interested in Sayers.

00:46:05.790 --> 00:46:20.960
Katy Wehr: but they also cover 6 0ther authors as well. So the 4 inklings, as well as Dk. Chesterton and George Mcdonald. So it's a wonderful place. They have a little Museum there, actually with Cs. Lewis's wardrobe.

00:46:20.960 --> 00:46:38.330
Katy Wehr: Wow!

00:46:38.330 --> 00:46:54.290
Katy Wehr: This room called the Reading Room, that is just lined with books. It's like a scholars dream, and big tables where you can work, and and then you can ask for them to bring up particular items from the archives in the basement

00:46:54.630 --> 00:47:13.160
Katy Wehr: that you can look at there in the reading room. So that's where I looked at thousands of pages of her letters. They have 34,000 pages of her letters. I didn't get through all of them in preparation for this book, but anything from this time period, and specifically especially looking very closely at the ones that are related to these plays

00:47:13.190 --> 00:47:38.960
Katy Wehr: back and forth with James Welch, and then all the Fan letters. So that's a wonderful it's a it's just a a very fun place, and the the reading room even has like a big fireplace with with lions on the side. And you're like oh, i'm here, you know. So people just love to come in and and sit there, but it's a great place to visit. They also have events. Different scholars come. They even have like

00:47:38.960 --> 00:47:50.030
Katy Wehr: summer programs for kids. It's a really wonderful place, you know. People that live in the Chicago area should definitely get to know it. But it it's really worth a visit as well.

00:47:50.070 --> 00:48:05.760
Andy Miller III: Yeah. Oh, I love it now, if you had to recommend one performance of the plays

00:48:06.320 --> 00:48:23.430
Katy Wehr: well, I will say that there's really only one version available, so that makes it easy.

00:48:23.460 --> 00:48:38.370
Katy Wehr: and

00:48:39.610 --> 00:48:47.580
Katy Wehr: trustees are eager to find that person who's put them on Youtube, to get them down so to make it safe, but you can just

00:48:47.690 --> 00:48:56.340
Katy Wehr: buy them on audible, and then you'll have them forever, and they'll be in your itunes, and you don't have to keep going back to to

00:48:56.340 --> 00:49:24.930
Andy Miller III: Youtube. But so what is sorry all about

00:49:24.930 --> 00:49:28.060
Katy Wehr: through Amazon, which ons out of all.

00:49:28.090 --> 00:49:45.520
Katy Wehr: So those are the 1967 recordings by the BBC. And I think they're. I think they're lovely. They're I mean they're They're very well recorded. I love all the different voices. It really gives you a sense. They are.

00:49:45.520 --> 00:49:50.780
Katy Wehr: you know, shortened versions of every recording that the the there's 3 different recordings that the BBC. Made

00:49:50.780 --> 00:50:08.090
Katy Wehr: and all of them are shortened. I mean, this is what When Sarah's actually published her scripts in 1,943, she was like I can finally put back everything that I want.

00:50:08.360 --> 00:50:13.250
Katy Wehr: the the actual, even the original scripts. We're about 50 min or 55,

00:50:13.330 --> 00:50:21.590
Katy Wehr: but the ones that are in audible are like 40 t0 43 min. I think maybe 43 is the longest, so you know. So there are things cut.

00:50:38.930 --> 00:50:43.040
Andy Miller III: So would you do that with students, too? You said you've taught this book right? Yeah, yeah.

00:50:43.060 --> 00:50:54.640
Andy Miller III: I think that yeah, thanks for the tips on how to access it, because it's one thing, you know, reading plays. Maybe that's not something. People are used to doing. But I it just comes a live, unique way. And here we just

00:50:54.640 --> 00:51:11.880
Andy Miller III: we're recording this just as let has started. So I encourage

00:51:27.640 --> 00:51:32.770
re-broadcast many years in a row. So you probably did hear them. But but there are

00:51:32.850 --> 00:51:34.570
Katy Wehr: letters then in

00:51:34.820 --> 00:51:52.590
Katy Wehr: I think 1,944, you know he's like I am re-reading the man born to be king. And then, a couple of years later, I am as always rereading the man born to be king during Holy Week, and then another time in the fifties. You know it stands up to this kind of test very well, and then in 1,957. When she died he wrote a pen, Eric

00:51:52.590 --> 00:51:55.370
Katy Wehr: for her. You know kind of a tribute, and he said.

00:51:55.390 --> 00:52:00.930
Katy Wehr: I read the man born to be king every year during Holy Week.

00:52:01.010 --> 00:52:05.380
Andy Miller III: I recommend that.

00:52:05.480 --> 00:52:21.430
Andy Miller III: Well, Catherine, thank you so much for your time, and working on this book, and for taking your research and making it something that can help readers understand and enjoy Dorothy Sayers even more every.

00:52:21.430 --> 00:52:36.730
Andy Miller III: But I love that connect that maybe to you specifically. We know now. We know more the story behind this book and your research, and Dorothy Sayers herself. But is there more to the story of Kathryn where than is normally told is, you have some hobbies that you don't get to talk about very much or something you're interested in.

00:52:38.520 --> 00:52:48.490
Katy Wehr: Hmm. I guess the only thing I would mention is that, and partly thanks to these plays, because while I was working on these plays, I also

00:52:48.490 --> 00:53:01.270
Katy Wehr: wrote an album of songs about women in the Gospels.

00:53:01.270 --> 00:53:12.880
Katy Wehr: Yes, yes, I don't, you know, since Covid I I I haven't really done many concerts, but anyway, they're they're wonderful songs. I and my Youtube Channel. Actually, I've turned some of them into

00:53:12.910 --> 00:53:25.270
Katy Wehr: videos and that kind of thing, so you can hear some of them there. Otherwise you can hear them on, you know, spotify, but some of them are directly related to these plays.

00:53:25.640 --> 00:53:31.030
Katy Wehr: I borrow something that she you know the the of of James and John asking Jesus

00:53:32.040 --> 00:53:37.230
Katy Wehr: to to sit on his left and right.

00:53:37.840 --> 00:53:38.540
Katy Wehr: Is it

00:53:38.930 --> 00:53:50.630
Katy Wehr: maybe in Mark or Luke, where they asked Jesus Specifically, I think it's in Matthew, where their mother Salome, asks

00:53:50.990 --> 00:54:02.180
Katy Wehr: Salome, doing the asking, and then have her there at the foot of the cross, but borrowing something that Sayers has John say, because she has John, saying.

00:54:02.270 --> 00:54:16.330
Katy Wehr: You know we didn't. He's there at the foot of the cross. We didn't know what we were asking when we

00:54:17.670 --> 00:54:19.490
Katy Wehr: you know. Is this what you know

00:54:19.580 --> 00:54:37.380
Katy Wehr: is this: Could this be what your what your kingdom means?

00:54:37.380 --> 00:54:52.680
Katy Wehr: Yup, Katherine, where K. At H. R. Y. N. W. E. H. R. And so Katherine,, or just Catherine, where at Youtube? And so, along with some of my music stuff, I I do. Some other

00:54:52.820 --> 00:55:02.500
Katy Wehr: videos are kind of like slide shows where I I would pair poetry or or some some thoughts to

00:55:02.670 --> 00:55:07.330
Katy Wehr: yeah different different topics. I it was sort of a a, a, a Covid

00:55:07.340 --> 00:55:20.250
Katy Wehr: goal that I would create one a month. So I have slowed down. But I also have a couple of videos that relate to this book that give people kind of a quick look, and then in more in depth, look at the book as well that I have put up there. So

00:55:20.290 --> 00:55:32.700
Andy Miller III: that's great. Thank you so much for coming. It's it's really a treat to to meet you and thanks again for your work on this project. I'm: sure it's going to help people understand Jesus better, but also appreciate what you say or so. Thank you for your work.

00:55:32.720 --> 00:55:35.580
Katy Wehr: Yeah, it's such a pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Copyright ©2024 Andrew S. Miller III