P. D. James

P. D. James (1920-2014) was born in Oxford and educated at Cambridge High School for Girls. From 1949 to 1968 she worked in the National Health Service and subsequently in the Home Office, first in the Police Department and later in the Criminal Policy Department. All that experience was used in her novels. She was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Society of Arts and served as a Governor of the BBC, a member of the Arts Council, where she was Chairman of the Literary Advisory Panel, on the Board of the British Council and as a magistrate in Middlesex and London. She was an Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award and The National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature (US). She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and was created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected President of the Society of Authors, stepping down from the post in August 2013.

P. D. James's first novel, and the first to feature Adam Dalgliesh, Cover Her Face, is published.
Classic detective novel An Unsuitable Job for a Woman is published. The book takes the runner-up spot in the Best Novel Award, Mystery Writers of America, in 1973.
James is awarded the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, for A Taste for Death.
James is awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award.
Dystopian novel The Children of Men is published. The book wins a Deo Gloria Award.
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman premieres as a drama series on British television, starring Helen Baxendale and running until 2001.
James is presented with a Grandmaster Award by the Mystery Writers of America.
A feature film adaption of The Children of Men is released, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, and starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen.
The final book in the Adam Dalgliesh series, The Private Patient, is published.
P. D. James is given the Nick Clarke Award for her interview with Director-General of the BBC Mark Thompson whilst guest editor of Today radio programme.
<>Death Comes to Pemberley is published. The novel continues Jane Austen's 1813 masterpiece Pride and Prejudice with a murder mystery.
Books by P. D. James
Author Videos
The book trailer for <i>Death Comes to Pemberley</i>
P. D. James talks to Sarah Crown, <i>Guardian</i>, on her 90th birthday.
P. D. James on Jane Austen and <i>Death Comes to Pemberley</i>
Author Videos
The book trailer for <i>Death Comes to Pemberley</i>
The book trailer for Death Comes to Pemberley
P. D. James talks to Sarah Crown, <i>Guardian</i>, on her 90th birthday.
P. D. James talks to Sarah Crown, Guardian, on her 90th birthday.
P. D. James on Jane Austen and <i>Death Comes to Pemberley</i>
P. D. James on Jane Austen and Death Comes to Pemberley
Praise for P. D. James

‘That is the thing I always will most remember about her: what a kind woman she was, how she did her very best to make you feel good.’

Ruth Rendell
Praise for P. D. James

‘During more than fifty years as an author, her books showed an elegance of characterisation and an aptitude for capturing atmosphere that blurred distinctions between classic detective stories and the conventional novel.’

Daily Telegraph
Praise for P. D. James

‘Four writers of her generation reshaped the way we experience the English crime novel – P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill and Colin Dexter. When we awarded Phyllis the outstanding contribution award at the Theakstons Harrogate crime-writing festival, I was responsible for escorting her to the signing table afterwards. The room was packed. I shouted, "Make way, legend coming through." They parted like the Red Sea for Phyllis in a way they would have done for few others.’

Val McDermid, Guardian
Quotes from P. D. James

‘Feel, he told himself, feel, feel, feel. Even if what you feel is pain, only let yourself feel.’

The Children of Men
<i>The Children of Men</i> <div class=

‘Not so much two ships passing in the night as two ships sailing together for a time but always bound for different ports.’

The Lighthouse
<i>The Lighthouse</i> <div class=

‘It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.’

A Taste for Death
<i>A Taste for Death</i> <div class=