Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

James, P D

Entry updated 12 November 2020. Tagged: Author.

Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com

pic

(1920-2014) civil servant and author whose detective novels, beginning with Cover Her Face (1962) and generally featuring Commander Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard, comprise a literate, conservative, elegiac but tough-minded defence of traditional English civility, a vision darkened by the fact that the austere, deeply intelligent Dalgliesh is agnostic, and the England he defends is self-damaging. The hints of a high-tech sabotage of a coastal nuclear plant in Devices and Desires (1989) does not quite reach Technothriller territory. Her one sf novel, The Children of Men (1992), filmed as Children of Men (2006), carries that ultimately pessimistic cast of mind into a twenty-first-century Near-Future Britain crippled by universal human infertility and dominated by a dictatorial "Warden". The ending – couched in guardedly Christian terms – offers some chance of redemption from what is very close to a classic Dystopia, though laced with melodrama – as when the Warden himself appears for a climactic confrontation rather than leaving such matters to his security forces. James endured some controversy for her insistence that the tale – whose resemblances to Brian W Aldiss's Greybeard (1964) had been noted – was not actually sf (see Mainstream Writers of SF). P D James was made OBE in 1983 and created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. [JC]

Phyllis Dorothy James

born Oxford, Oxfordshire: 3 August 1920

died Oxford, Oxfordshire: 27 November 2014

works (highly selected)

links

previous versions of this entry



x
This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies