Muriel Jaeger in the Great War

Muriel Jaeger graduated from Oxford in 1916. In April 1918, Dorothy L. Sayers writes to her parents, from Basil Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford, where she was working, and gives some news of the work which “Jim” Jaeger was doing. It was war work, even if only indirectly.

I had a very delightful week-end with Jim, who was full of ghastly information about starvation horrors in Germany and Austria. She is in the Statistics Dept. at the Ministry of Food, and those two countries are part of her special province, so I think her information is reliable. She says that Germany and Austria (especially) are unthinkably worse off than we are — and that the Ukraine wheat, even when they get it — for the transport is broken down and much of the stores damaged — will all have to be used for Austria (which is eating wood-pulp!) and that none will be available for Germany. Also it appears that the German ‘discipline’ has quite broken down in the interior, and that they are only held together by the inertia of exhaustion which prevents a split. If we can successfully hold up this offensive, she thinks they will have to come to terms for economic reason. On the other hand, our food shortage is very real, and will get worse; also that every 3 months of war now adds a year to the tale of lean years which will follow the declaration of peace (Letters, 136).

This letter is quoted from Barbara Reynolds, ed., The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers, 1899-1936: the Making of a Detective Novelist (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1995; quoted from Sceptre Paperback, 1996).



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