Phyllis Dorothy James was born in Oxford in 1920. She left school at 16 partly because her father did not believe in higher education and partly because the family needed income. She did clerical work at a tax office and later became the assistant stage manager for a theatre group. She married Army surgeon Ernest Connor Bantry White in 1941 and they had two daughters. After World War II, White suffered from mental illness and spent much of the remainder of his life institutionalized leaving James to support the family as a hospital administrator and later in the forensic science and criminal law departments of the Home Office.
Her childhood ambition was to become a novelist but she did not start writing until she was over 40; she regretted what she viewed as "wasted years". Her first novel Cover Her Face was published in 1962 and introduced Adam Dalgliesh, the detective poet who is featured in 14 novels.
Best known for detective fiction, she also wrote The Children of Men, a dystopian novel. Her most recent book Death Comes to Pemberley, a murder mystery inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was published in 2011.
Novelist P.D. James died peacefully at her home on November 27, 2014. She was 94.
Some of her works:
Picture credit: By Benutzer:Smalltown Boy (Diskussion) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons