Reading progress update: I've read 138 out of 502 pages.

Gaudy Night - Dorothy L. Sayers

Now, this is how to write undergraduates ... and I am sure there is a bit of Sayers in all of them:

Miss Millbanks had her room in Queen Elizabeth, and had furnished it with a good deal of taste. She was a tall, elegant girl, obviously well-to-do, much better dressed than the majority of the students, and carrying her intellectual attainments easily. She held a minor scholarship without emoluments, declaring publicly that she was only a scholar because she would not be seen dead in the ridiculous short gown of a commoner. As alternatives to coffee, she offered Harriet the choice of madeira or a cocktail, politely regretting that the inadequacy of college arrangements made it impossible to provide ice for the shaker.    Harriet, who disliked cocktails after dinner, and had consumed madeira and sherry on an almost wearisome number of occasions since her arrival in Oxford, accepted the coffee, and chuckled as cups and glasses were filled.

   Miss Millbanks inquired courteously what the joke was.

“Only,” said Harriet, “that I gathered the other day from an article in the Morning Star that ‘undergraduettes,’ in the journalist’s disgusting phrase, lived entirely on cocoa.”

   “Journalists,” said Miss Millbanks, condescendingly, “are always thirty years behind the times. Have you ever seen cocoa in College, Miss Fowler?”

   “Oh, yes,” said Miss Fowler. She was a dark, thick-set Third Year, dressed in a very grubby sweater which, as she had previously explained, she had not had time to change, having been afflicted with an essay up to the moment of attending Harriet’s talk. “Yes, I’ve seen it in dons’ rooms. Occasionally. But I always looked on that as a kind of infantilism.”

Not to mention this absolute beauty about the poison pen letters:

“I had one too,” said Miss Layton. “A beauty—about there being a reward hell for women who went my way. So, acting on the suggestion given, I forwarded it to my future address by way of the fireplace.”

So, yeah, either Death on the Cherwell got it entirely wrong or Somerville (Sayers' college) was far more fun than St. Hilda's (which Hay's Death on the Cherwell seemed to have been based on).