P.D. James: a celebration

Filed under: BiographyFiction

Peter Kemp, Val McDermid, Mark Lawson and Melvyn Bragg look back on a remarkable life.

P.D. James – aka Baroness James of Holland Park, and “the queen of crime” – is best remembered for her detective novels starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgleish. But she was much more than a thrilling writer of fiction. Hers was, as Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, said at her memorial service, “a long life lived in tumultuous times”, and sustained by what she herself described as “the magnificent irrationality of faith”. She left school at 16, and lost her mother and later her husband to mental illness. But, as sole breadwinner for two daughters, she also found time to write, and went on to become a governor of the BBC, an active member of the House of Lords, and a lay patron of the Prayer Book Society.

In a conversation chaired by Phyllis’s close friend Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer for The Sunday Times, crime writer Val McDermid and broadcasters and authors Mark Lawson and Melvyn Bragg look back on a remarkable life.

We are grateful to the Royal Literary Fund for sponsoring this event.

Recorded on: December 11, 2016
Recorded at: The Chapel, King's College London
Sponsored by: Royal Literary Fund