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Time to Be in Earnest

P. D. James

Time to Be in Earnest is P. D. James’s extraordinary memoir of her early life and time starting out as a novelist, as well as diaries recording her in old age.

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Format
Ebook
ISBN
9780571265626
Date Published
17.02.2011
Delivery
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.
Summary

In this intriguing and very personal book, part diary, part memoir, P.D. James considers the twelve months of her life between her 77th and 78th birthdays, ‘a time to be in earnest’, as Dr Johnson said at the comparable moment of his very different life two centuries ago. In recording the events, thoughts and reflections of her present, Baroness James has found herself simultaneously remembering the past of her remarkable career. She recalls what it was like to be a schoolgirl in the 1920s and 1930s in Cambridge, then giving birth to her second daughter during the worst of the Doodlebug bombardment in London during the war, working as an administrator in the National Health Service, entering the Home Office in the forensic and criminal justice departments, serving as a Governor of the BBC, an influential member of the British Council, the Arts Council and the Society of Authors, and eventually entering the House of Lords.

Along the way, this diary and personal memoir deals with her burgeoning reputation as a novelist, starting with Cover Her Face in 1962, and with the craft of the classical detective story. During this busy year she also published one of her most intriguing and carefully researched books, A Certain Justice. This record of twelve months in a life of creativity and public service, told with honesty and perception, will enthral aficionados of detective fiction. It will also appeal to those who themselves have lived through the turbulent years of the twentieth century.

P.D. James is the bestselling author of Death Comes to Pemberley and Children of Men, both of which have been adapted for film, with actors such as Michael Caine, Clive Owen and Jenna Coleman playing leading roles.

Critic Reviews

She has served up a feast of a book.

Penelope Lively
Critic Reviews

A wonderful read and as such will give pleasure to all P. D. James fans.

Antonia Fraser, Mail on Sunday
Critic Reviews

Like all the best diaries hers allows the reader to share in the small pleasures and domestic dramas of her days.

Sunday Telegraph
Critic Reviews

A wonderfully vivid evocation of a lower-middle-class childhood of oil lamps and gas mantles, water heated up on a coke boiler for the weekly bath, liberty bodices, prickly combinations, a father severely remote from his three children and a long-suffering mother.

Francis King, The Oldie
Critic Reviews

Deeply moving . . . . Page after page recalls a vanished world.

The New York Times Book Review
Critic Reviews

A cornucopia of discernment, judgment, and wisdom.

San Francisco Chronicle
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…

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