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10 Criminally Good Quotes from P.D James

By August 3, 2016August 2nd, 2017Authors

Phyllis Dorothy James was born on the 3rd August 1920 in Oxford England, the daughter of a tax inspector who made her leave school at the age of sixteen as he did not believe in further education for girls. Her early adult life was filled with difficulties and she found herself having to provide for her family when her husband returned from WWII suffering from a mental illness that would see him institutionalised until his death.
In order to provide for her children James began working for a hospital board and during this period also began to write fiction. Her first book Cover her Face was published in 1962 and her Inspector Dalgleish series has become famous worldwide and adapted for television. She passed away on the 27th November 2014 aged 94 having been made a Baroness and to celebrate her life as an author we have collected together 10 Criminally Good Quotes from P.D James.

“Time didn’t heal, but it anaesthetised. The human mind could only feel so much.”

“We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life.”

“Charm is often despised but I can never see why. No one has it who isn’t capable of genuinely liking others, at least at the actual moment of meeting and speaking. Charm is always genuine; it may be superficial but it isn’t false.”

“Perhaps it’s only when people are dead that we can safely show how much we cared about them. We know that it’s too late then for them to do anything about it.”

“Man is diminished if he lives without knowledge of his past; without hope of a future he becomes a beast.”

“Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other ­people. Nothing that happens to a writer – however happy, however tragic – is ever wasted.”

“It is difficult to be generous-minded to those we have greatly harmed.”

“If from infancy you treat children as gods, they are liable in adulthood to act as devils.”

“It shows considerable wisdom to know what you want in life and then to direct all your energies towards getting it.”

“We all die alone. We shall endure death as once we endured birth. You can’t share either experience.”

P.D James truly was a criminally good author and if our quotes have made you want to find out a little more about the books she wrote why not have a browse through her bibliographies.

P.D James US
P.D James UK

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One Comment

  • Marilyn Sneddon says:

    Most of these are good but I would hardly call birth a lone experience. She was a hospital administrator before writing full time. Saw her at a literary lunch when she was 73 and that’s when I realised I never have to go grey – she didn’t

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