I have a particular interest in Tudor History, and many years ago I discovered Muriel’s six-volume opus of The Lisle Letters.  From the first page I was well and truly hooked, and I continue to read them today with just the same fascination as the first time.  In 2011, I decided that I would like to learn much more about Muriel so that I could produce a website dedicated to her life and work, and I started to write to those that I thought could help, and since then I have received nothing but generous support.  Unfortunately, this project was delayed for some years until, in 2019, I found that I could give it my full attention.  It is still a work in progress, and I would be delighted to receive your feedback.

Paul Wood


Muriel left a considerable amount of her papers to Somerville College, and, in 2011, I went to see Dr. Anne Manuel, the Somerville College Librarian and Archivist, who very kindly allowed me to spend a day reviewing this material - which at that stage had not been catalogued.  It is now, and a summary of it is available from the College website: https://www.some.ox.ac.uk.  I am now working closely with Somerville College with the longer term aim of producing a book, based on this website, the proceeds from which will be given to Somerville College to use in the form of a bursary.  I wish to record my particular thanks for the help I am receiving from both Dr. Anne Manuel and her assistant Kate O’Donnell.

Muriel worked for a while at Bedford College - which is now part of the Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL) - and I have received generous help from Professor Judith Hawley with finding Muriel related material in the RHUL Archives.


Mo Moulton, a Senior Lecturer in the history department of the University of Birmingham, published a book called ‘Mutual Admiration Society’ in November 2019.  This book is a beautifully written and researched account of the lives of the more noteworthy members of that Society - including Muriel - and I would recommend it whole heartedly.  I have certainly found it most informative.

The Marion E Wade Center, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, has a world renowned collection of material on Dorothy L Sayers, as well as materials relating to her relationship with Muriel St Clare Byrne.  Collections with Byrne materials include:

  • Dorothy L Sayers Papers (correspondence between Dorothy and Muriel)

  • Dorothy L Sayers Manuscripts (Busman's Honeymoon drafts with Muriel's annotations and other related items)

  • Muriel St Clare Byrne Collection

  • Busman's Honeymoon Collection

The Marion E Wade Center is free and open to the public.  Visitor and Researcher information is available on the Wade's website: https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/academic-centers/wadecenter/

My very grateful thanks go to Laura Schmidt, the Archivist at the Wade Center, for very kindly helping me with the material on Muriel that is held there.


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