P. D. James

Standard Name: James, P. D.
Birth Name: Phyllis Dorothy James
Married Name: Phyllis Dorothy White
Pseudonym: P. D. James
Titled: Baroness James of Holland Park
PDJ was a crime writer with a major reputation in both Britain and the United States. As well as her mystery novels, she wrote non-mystery novels, one excursion into science fiction, non-fiction, a play, short stories, articles, and an autobiography, and gave many talks and lectures. One critic considered her basically a novelist who happens to put her characters into mystery stories.
Gidez, Richard. P. D. James. Twayne.
Her books have been widely distributed in many countries and translated into many languages, including Japanese.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Friends, Associates Ruth Rendell
Winterson said, She was the mother I never had—wise, benign, loving and always there.
Brooks, Libby. “Ruth Rendell: Dark lady of whodunnits”. The Guardian, pp. 16-19.
RR 's other literary friends included Antonia Fraser and P. D. James . Her friendship with Peter Kemp dated from...
Intertextuality and Influence Jane Austen
The major novels have been repeatedly dramatised and filmed; the BBC has had great success with videos and DVDs of all six. They and the unfinished novels have been almost equally material for sequels, prequels...
Literary responses Dorothy L. Sayers
P. D. James has observed that this book is unequalled for depicting what it was like—actually like—to work in an office between the wars . . . the inter-departmental rivalry; the great excitement of having...
Literary responses Pat Barker
Another World was praised by several of PB 's fellow-novelists. Ruth Rendell thought it the most moving thing Barker had ever done; P. D. James called it subtle and beautifully written; Michele Roberts found...
Literary responses Antonia Fraser
AF 's debut as a crime novelist was complicated by reviewers looking for parallels with her own life, particularly her recent, high-profile relationship with Harold Pinter . The Sunday Times was really nasty, but...
Literary responses Marghanita Laski
Reviews were mixed. The San Francisco Chronicle called this a tour-de-force of its kind,, a little jewel of horror. The Times Literary Supplement dismissed it as surprisingly sentimental and not a very original story...
Reception Penelope Lively
PL was a less-known name than several others on the Booker Prize shortlist that year. It was not until lunchtime on the day of the award that at her husband's urging (You just might...
Reception Nina Bawden
P. D. James selected this book when asked to name the best of the year.
“Dictionary of Literary Biography online”. Gale Databases: Literature Resource Center-LRC.
Textual Features Margery Allingham
Campion later developed more complexity and depth—partly as a result of war experiences—and became a professional detective. But he remained unhardened, an anomaly in his profession, in something the manner of the later Inspector Alleyn...
Textual Features Phyllis Bentley
PB 's protagonist is an amateur detective, as was standard for the genre at this date. She follows by twenty years on Agatha Christie 's Miss Marple (born in 1930) and precedes by the...
Textual Features Antonia Fraser
In her detective-story guise, Fraser sees herself as part of a women's tradition in the genre, and names as influences a number of writers who are known for interest in human psychology and a high...
Textual Production Ruth Rendell
RR dedicated to P. D. James her thriller Thirteen Steps Down, about a man whose escalating obsession with the murderer John Reginald Christie leads him first to murder and then to becoming swallowed up...
Textual Production E. Arnot Robertson
EAR titled her second World War Two novel Devices and Desires, a phrase in the General Confession in the AnglicanBook of Common Prayer): in her book Greek partisans confront their Nazi occupiers...
Textual Production Sue Townsend
In March 1985 ST was the final speaker at a conference organized by the Children's Book Circle on the marketing of books for children and entitled Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More; she talked...


1952: Angus Wilson published Hemlock and After,...

Writing climate item


Angus Wilson published Hemlock and After, which Margaret Drabble in 2008 called one of the first gay novels to hit the postwar world.
“Back—due to popular demand”. The Guardian, pp. Review 4 - 6.


James, P. D. A Certain Justice. Faber and Faber, 1997.
James, P. D. A Mind to Murder. Faber and Faber, 1963.
James, P. D. A Taste for Death. Faber and Faber, 1986.
James, P. D. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. Faber and Faber, 1972.
James, P. D. Cover Her Face. Faber and Faber, 1962.
James, P. D. Death in Holy Orders. Faber, 2001.
James, P. D. Death of an Expert Witness. Faber and Faber, 1977.
James, P. D. Devices and Desires. Faber and Faber, 1989.
James, P. D. Innocent Blood. Faber and Faber, 1980.
James, P. D. “Moment of Power”. Ellery Queen’s Murder Menu, edited by Ellery Queen, Victor Gollancz, 1969.
James, P. D. Original Sin. Faber and Faber, 1994.
James, P. D. Shroud for a Nightingale. Faber and Faber, 1971.
James, P. D. Talking about Detective Fiction. Bodleian Library, 2009.
James, P. D. The Black Tower. Faber and Faber, 1975.
James, P. D. The Children of Men. Faber and Faber, 1992.
James, P. D. The Lighthouse. Faber, 2005.
Critchley, Thomas Alan, and P. D. James. The Maul and the Pear Tree. Constable, 1971.
James, P. D. The Murder Room. Faber, 2003.
James, P. D. The Private Patient. Faber and Faber, 2008.
James, P. D. The Skull beneath the Skin. Faber and Faber, 1982.
James, P. D. Time to Be in Earnest. Faber and Faber, 1999.
James, P. D. Unnatural Causes. Faber and Faber, 1967.