P. D. James

(1819 words)
  • Lindsay Sullivan (University of Wales, Cardiff)

P. D. James is one of the most popular serious detective novelists working in Britain today, renowned for her sophisticated narration and complexity of characterisation. Phyllis Dorothy James was born in Oxford in 1920, the first of three children. Her parents, Dorothy May James (1893-1966) and Sidney Victor James (1895-1979), were lower-middle class. Their marriage was not a happy one, and her mother suffered some mental ill health, including a period of compulsory hospitalisation. James's father worked for the Patent Office and the Inland Revenue and the family lived in Ludlow for a while, before moving to Cambridge when James was eleven. Her father paid for her to attend Cambridge County High School for Girls, and she remained there u…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Sullivan, Lindsay. "P. D. James". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2339, accessed 30 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Crime, Detective, Spy/ Thriller Fiction