PD James told us that there is never a convenient time to write that first novel and what drove her personally was the thought of telling her grandchildren she would have liked to have been a writer but had failed. She wrote Cover Her Facewhilst caring for a sick husband and bringing up two small children. She set her standards high and, enjoying the richness of the English language, continues to use all twelve volumes of her dictionary when she writes today.
Barbara Large, HWS Chairman, opened the first evening of the new season by introducing Simon Eden, Chief Executive of Winchester City Council who described himself as a cross between Sir Humphrey in Yes, Prime Minister and a translator for politician and local people. He then introduced PD James – Baroness James of Holland Park – who held the room for over an hour, without the use of any notes, on the craft of mystery writing.
The audience’s appreciation of Lady James’s talk was heartfelt and deafening. There could have been no better start to the HWS’s second year. Barbara Large gave Lady James a copy of Winchester, by Chris Caldicott, a photographic celebration of the city as a special thank you gift.